4-year-old child accidentally shoots 1-year-old brother in Houston, deputies say

4-year-old found an unsecured weapon inside the house, HCSO deputy said

HOUSTON – Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating a shooting that occurred Tuesday in Northeast Houston.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot his 1-year-old brother at a home in the 17100 block of Sunshine Street, near US-90 and Sheldon Road in East Harris County.

Gonzalez said the toddler was taken to the hospital but did not appear to have life-threatening injuries.

“A 4-year-old had found an unsecured weapon inside the house and while playing with that gun, shot the 1-year-old sibling in the lower left leg,” HCSO Deputy Thomas Gilliland told KSAT sister station KPRC.

The boys’ father told KPRC that he never thought he’d be in this situation because he knows how to safely store his weapons.

“He wasn’t home when it happened, but said the boys were with their mother and her family members when they got ahold of a pistol,” KPRC reported.

The father told ABC 13 that the gun belongs to a relative staying at the home. He said the 4-year-old likes to play with toy guns and probably didn’t realize the one he was holding could hurt his brother.

During the interview, the father appeared “visibly angry” that an adult left a loaded gun out around his children, according to ABC 13.

“Four-year-olds, 5-year-olds, they’re inquisitive. Having it unsecured can lead to tragic things like this,” Deputy Gilliland said. “These are things that we really don’t like responding to, we have more and more of them happening.”

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.