INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Police say a shooting that wounded two young children last week on the city’s east side was an accident.
The shooting occurred on Sept. 6 shortly before 10 p.m. in the 3000 block of North Colorado Avenue. The 2-year-old and 5-year-old victims, both girls, suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The update from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) noted that the children's parent left a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in a closet.
The children were left alone in the room and the parent had left to go to a store just before the shooting.
The victims have since been released from the hospital, but police hope the story serves as a reminder about the importance of gun safety.
"Every gun owner has to be a responsible gun owner," said IMPD officer Michael Hewitt.
Police say the first step to gun safety is to make sure weapons are secure whenever kids are around.
"First and foremost you want to keep guns in a safe place. That means locked in a gun safe or some sort of locker," said Hewitt.
Studies by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonpartisan research group that tracks unintentional shootings across the country, shows in recent years Indiana has seen a lot of accidental shootings involving children, ranking 7th worst nationally in 2016.
In 2017, FOX59 set up hidden cameras and put kids to the test and see what they would do if they came across a real gun. Several kids not only picked up the unloaded gun, but also pointed it at other kids.
"Hopefully we can put an end to what they call accidental shootings," said Hewitt. "Just because you’re in a house and have a gun and you know how to handle it safely, doesn’t mean everybody that comes in and out of the house knows how to handle it safely."
Ultimately, it will be up to the Marion County Prosecutor's Cffice to decide whether or not to file charges against the victims’ parent. So far, no arrests have been made