Port Barre Police say a two year old in his dad’s truck found a loaded pistol with a round chambered and shot himself in the leg today.
The child already has been treated and released from the hospital, Chief Deon Boudreaux said.
This morning, police were called to Opelousas General where a child was being treated in the emergency room for a gunshot wound to the leg, Boudreaux said.
Port Barre police arrived at OGH and spoke with the child’s father, a 24-year-old Melville man, who said he had his gun in his truck console for protection and didn’t think the boy could reach it. He left the child in the truck while he stepped out to smoke a cigarette, then heard a gunshot and found his son with a wound in his left leg.
The man drove his son to the hospital.
The gun was loaded and a round was in the chamber, meaning just pulling the trigger would cause it to fire.
"It’s apparent the pistol was in the console and "fire ready" meaning there was a live round in the chamber. It was not in a holster or any type of protective sleeve or container and this particular pistol has no safety lever or button," the chief said. "The child either grabbed the pistol and maneuvered the trigger or while moving around the console, some other object could have lodged in the trigger housing and depressed the trigger causing the pistol to fire. Either way, it’s unfortunate that a child was harmed and as bad as this is, it could have been a lot worse."
The chief said the investigation is ongoing and the father has been booked or cited at this time.
"Owning a firearm comes with great responsibilities and practicing safe handling and storage is extremely important, especially around small children. It’s perfectly legal to keep a loaded firearm in your vehicle but you should never leave a firearm in a place where children can get a hold of it. This was an accident but a very avoidable one," the chief said.