St. Paul man charged after toddler son shoots himself in wrist

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A man is charged with negligent firearm storage after prosecutors say his toddler accessed his gun and accidentally shot himself in the wrist in St. Paul.

The 22-month-old child was treated at Children’s Minnesota Hospital in St. Paul after the Saturday shooting, according to police.

The boy’s father, who lives in the Summit-University neighborhood, previously found a firearm and wrapped the loaded gun in a towel, said a criminal complaint filed Monday. The 29-year-old stored it in the lower cubby of a closet in the residence on Fuller Avenue near Lexington Parkway.

The St. Paul city attorney’s office charged the man with negligently storing a loaded firearm in a location where a person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child is likely to gain access unless reasonable access is taken to secure the firearm. The offense is a gross misdemeanor.

Everytown for Gun Safety tracks unintentional shootings by children and, for the first time since it began in 2015, they saw more than 400 incidents across the U.S. last year.

Firearm injuries are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the U.S. In half of unintentional shootings by children, they shoot themselves and in more than 90 percent of the remaining cases, the victim is another child, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Children who are five and younger, and teens ages 14 to 17 are most likely to unintentionally shoot themselves or others, the data shows.

Ramsey County and its partners have free cable gun locks available and lists the locations.

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