A mother was shot and critically wounded Wednesday in Norwalk, California, by her own young son after he found a shotgun in the back seat of their car.
Deputies responded about 3:30 p.m. to the 14600 block of Dinard Street to investigate a report of gunshot victim at the location, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Upon arrival, they found the woman, a resident of Norwalk, with a gunshot wound to her mid-body, Navarro-Suarez said.
She was taken to a hospital, where her condition was later upgraded to fair, the deputy said.
“Preliminary information gathered at the scene revealed that the female’s three children were in the back seat of the vehicle when one of the children accessed an unsecured shotgun and shot her through the back of the seat,” Navarro-Suarez said.
The mother was in the driver’s seat when she was wounded. The child is less than 4 years old, according to the sheriff’s department.
“The three children in the backseat, another female adult and young child who sat in the front passenger seat were not injured,” according to Navarro-Suarez.
The shotgun was recovered.
All four children were taken into the custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services.
Wednesday’s shooting recalled a similar one three years ago when a Florida mother, a gun rights advocate, was accidentally shot in the back after her 4-year-old found a pistol on the floor of the mom’s pickup truck.
There have been at least five other unintentional shootings by children so far this year, according to a tracking of news reports by the gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety. The group counted 207 such shootings for 2018.
About 4.6 million American kids live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded or unlocked, according to research published last year.