LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Police released new details about the Sunday shooting on the 1100 block of East Rice Street where a 3-year-old shot their 5-year-old sibling. Police said three children were sitting in a parked car next to another car their father was working on.
“We had a 3-year-old who was able to get a gun out of a console in a vehicle, who accidentally shot their 5-year-old sibling in a vehicle,” said Lubbock Police Public Information Office Allison Matherly.
The 3-year-old climbed into the front seat and found a loaded gun in the console. According to LPD, the gun went off and hit the 5-year-old, who was then transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The third child was not hurt.
This incident is a terrible reminder of just how important it is for all of us to practice firearm safety.
“Anytime where we’re keeping guns out of kids’ hands, it’s definitely a good situation,” said Matherly.
Proper firearm storage helps all gun owners prevent accidents, especially those with children.
“You want to make sure your gun is locked if it’s in your vehicle or your home either way,” said Matherly.
Make sure your gun is unloaded whenever you’re not using it, and keep the ammunition stored separately from the weapon.
“Keep that ammunition locked and separate from that gun, so a kid can’t go and put them together and accidentally cause something or cause a shooting they didn’t intend,” said Matherly.
Safes, lockboxes and gun or trigger locks are also important tools for preventing these incidents.
“A gun safe, you know that’s probably your best bet,” said Izzy Musquiz, General Manager of Sharp Shooters. “If you don’t have something like that, a trigger lock or a gun lock will work for something that’s not in use.”
Always keep the key or code to those locks out of your children’s reach, too. Talking to your children about firearms, even if there isn’t one in your own home, can help prevent accidents as well.
“You want to have those conversations with your kids, explain to them that they’re different than what they see on TV,” said Matherly.
“The most powerful thing is just knowledge, teaching our youth, especially our kids when they’re staying home, how to respect a firearm,” said Musquiz.
Reminding children to never touch a gun and report it to their parents any time they see one is good practice.