A couple from Dearborn, Michigan, is facing multiple charges of firearms violations and child abuse after their 3-year-old son shot and wounded two of his playmates inside the parent’s unlicensed day care center.
The toddler reportedly found the loaded weapon inside the house and fired multiple shots, injuring two other children. There were six children at the residence at the time of the shooting.
As the authorities revealed, Timothy and Samantha Eubanks had left their handgun unsecured in the upstairs bedroom. Police later retrieved more weapons from the house.
“It's a tragedy for our entire community, and this isn't something that anybody plans to occur,” Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad said in a statement.
One of the young victims was shot in the shoulder, while the other was shot in the face and has since received several surgeries. Both of the children are now in stable condition.
The incident took place in September, but the authorities have just charged Timothy Eubanks with six counts of second-degree child abuse while his wife is facing 12 counts of second-degree child abuse and two counts of felony firearms violations.
“I will continue to state emphatically and often that it is extremely dangerous to have firearms in a home accessible to children,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “It is alleged that, in this case, the defendants' home was a day care center with firearms that were accessible and two very young children were seriously injured. It is an understatement to say that this cannot and should not ever be tolerated.”
According to local media, the toddler’s father is a hunter while his mother is not a fan of firearms.
“She would always say don’t you ever bring a gun in this house, it’s not going to happen,” Ashley Escobedo, Samantha’s sister, told reporters. “My sister is totally against guns. She hates guns.”
Tragically, cases of young children accidentally shooting themselves or someone else using their parents’ gun are not uncommon.
According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, nearly 1.7 million children across the United States live in homes with an unlocked, loaded gun. More than 1,300 children die and 5,790 are treated for gunshot wounds each year, according to the medical journal Pediatrics.
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