Shooting of three-year-old a tragic reminder of importance of keeping firearms out of reach
Statement of Alderman Robert W. Puente May 6, 2014
My heart goes out to the family, relatives and friends of the three-year-old boy who remains in critical condition after being shot in the head Saturday near N. 106th and W. Wabash in the 9th Aldermanic District. Police said it appears the boy accidentally shot himself with a firearm that was in the glove compartment of his mother’s vehicle.
This incident is a tragic reminder of how critically important it is for adults to make sure all firearms are kept out of the reach of children at all times and that gun locks be utilized in the event that there is even a remote possibility that a firearm could be found by a child.
Under our current law, the boy’s mother faces misdemeanor charges for leaving the gun unsecured and loaded in the vehicle. After what occurred on Saturday, I now intend to push for toughening the law to allow for felony charges in such cases in hopes that the tougher penalty will help to prevent this kind of tragedy in the future.
As a former Milwaukee police officer I vividly recall the emotions that come when responding to incidents involving injured children. In that vein, I want to personally recognize the first responders and officers who no doubt are trying to deal with the emotional trauma of responding to Saturday’s scene. They did everything they could to help the injured toddler, but that help also came with a price.