Report: Tragic Shooting Leaves Toddler Dead

Police volunteers watch over a Pinecrest Apartment Tuesday afternoon after a 1.5-year-old child was shot.

Police volunteers watch over a Pinecrest Apartment Tuesday afternoon after a 1.5-year-old child was shot. Photo by Alexis Bechman. |

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Update at 7 p.m.: Police confirmed tonight at a press conference that a 3-year-old boy shot his 18-month-old brother with a semi-automatic handgun he found in a 78-year-old family friend's apartment this afternoon. The children had been at the home for 10 to 15 minutes when they "slipped into another room unobserved by the mother," said Police Chief Don Engler. As the mother entered the room, the gun reportedly went off. Police are still investigating and plan to search the apartment. The gun was not locked up at the time. No one has been charged.

Police are investigating a shooting at a Payson apartment Tuesday afternoon that left an 18-month-old dead.

The toddler was reportedly playing with a sibling around noon when they found a gun in a Pinecrest apartment, at 303 S. Ash Street.

It is unclear who pulled the trigger, but the toddler was shot in the head.

Police Chief Don Engler said it is too soon to say who shot the child or whom the gun belonged to and they were still interviewing the children’s mother and neighbors.

The toddler was taken to Payson Regional Medical Center and later pronounced dead.

Engler said the gun was not from the children’s home, but a nearby apartment.

Several adults were supervising the children at the time, but it is unclear where they where at the time the shooting took place, he said.

A Payson Roundup newspaper deliverer had just pulled up to drop off the day’s paper when she heard cries coming from a lower level apartment.

When paramedics arrived, she saw a hysterical woman carry a child wrapped in blankets out to them and sit down. A witness heard the paramedic driver tell the woman, “ma’am let me have him.”

The child looked like a “ragdoll,” the witness said.

The woman handed the child over and crews took it to the hospital. Battalion Chief Jim Rasmussen said when they initially arrived, the toddler had a pulse. On the way to the hospital, the child's heart stopped and paramedics started CPR.

Read more in Friday's Roundup.

Comments

H. Wm. Rhea III 3 months ago

...Several adults were supervising the children at the time, but it is unclear where they where at the time the shooting took place, he said.

Apparently not enough supervising was going on no matter how many adults were there.

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Barbara Rasmussen 3 months ago

At a time like this no one should be pointing fingers. We should all be keeping this family in our prayers. A child has been lost in a very tragic way and no one should pass judgement on anyone who was involved or affected by this terrible tragedy.

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H. Wm. Rhea III 3 months ago

Sorry Barbara, but finding out why something happened is usually the key to preventing it from happening again. Most accidents are anything but accidents and are usually the result of negligence. In this case, nobody having their eyes on the children at the time in question. I know better than anyone how hard it is to watch little ones, but that's what has to be done to keep them safe.

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Pat Randall 3 months ago

Barbara, Seems as tho we have the perfect parent posting.

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H. Wm. Rhea III 3 months ago

Perfect? No. Watchful? Yes. Careful? Yes. Guiding? Yes. Teaching? Yes. There's a slew of other things, too. But not perfect. But I do follow other people's good parenting actions. Emulation of good parenting? Yes!!!

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