North Las Vegas Police
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 | 2:50 p.m.
A 3-year-old boy is hospitalized in critical condition with a gunshot wound after accidentally shooting himself in a North Las Vegas residence, according to city police.
A preliminary investigation suggests the child may have come across a firearm about 9:30 a.m. inside a house in the 5000 block of Drifting Pebble Street, near Washburn Road and Bruce Street, and pulled the trigger, said North Las Vegas Police Officer Aaron Patty.
The child was rushed to University Medical Center with a life-threatening wound, Patty said. It wasn’t clear where he was hit.
There were multiple adults and at least one more child inside the house at the time of the shooting, Patty said. The child lived at the house.
As of Saturday afternoon, no one was facing criminal charges, but that could change as the investigation progresses, Patty said. Detectives were conducting interviews and crime scene investigators remained at the scene this afternoon, he said.
Patty reminded gun owners to lock up their firearms and if they don’t own a safe, to buy one, he said.
On average, 8,300 children in the U.S. are hospitalized annually with gunshot wounds, according to a study released last month from research from Johns Hopkins University’s medical school.
Researchers examined data from 2006 to 2014, but the study did not include gunshot victims who never made it to a hospital, according to the study, published by JAMA Pediatrics. Six percent of those children who did died.
The number of child patients had been declining year-to-year, but then increased in the final year of data available, from 2013 to 2014.
During the time, 10 out of every 100,000 children hospitalized in the U.S. had been shot.
The findings highlight that gun violence involving kids extends beyond mass shootings that gain the most attention, said Dr. Robert Sege, co-author of an American Academy of Pediatrics gun injuries policy.
“It’s extraordinarily sad because these children grow up in fear and it affects their ability to feel safe and comfortable at home or in school. It has an enormous ripple effect on child development,” said Sege, a Tufts University professor of medicine who was not involved in the research.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.