Boy shot in Minneapolis: Man facing charges connected to shooting

A man facing charges in connection to the shooting of a 2-year-old boy this week in Minneapolis says he mistakenly left the weapon within reach of the child, according to the criminal complaint.

Thirty-six-year-old Kendall Hampton is charged with possession of a firearm and child endangerment for the shooting.

According to the charges, police responded to the shooting in the early morning hours of Monday, March 14 at an apartment along the 1500 block of Lasalle Avenue. The 911 caller told police she was sleeping in the same room as the 2-year-old boy and Hampton when she awoke to the child screaming.

When police arrived at the building, officers spoke with Hampton in the lobby. Officers say Hampton initially claimed to be a neighbor alarmed by the police response. Hampton also said he had not been in the apartment when the child was hurt but left the scene after police asked him to stick around to give a statement.

Hampton was ultimately arrested and admitted to being in the apartment when the child was shot during interviews with officers. According to the charges, Hampton told officers he had been drinking that night and had placed the gun on a windowsill, within reach of the boy. Police say Hampton said he knew he should have put it up higher, out of reach of the boy, but "he wanted to keep it close," the charges state.

Hampton says he was sleeping when the boy was shot and left the apartment with the gun after waking up "because he is not supposed to be around guns," according to the complaint. He told police he ditched the gun near the front door to an apartment on the third floor of the building. Police say they were able to recover the firearm. On Tuesday, a police spokesperson said the department was still working to verify how the child was hurt.

Hampton and the woman were watching for the child while his mother was working, the charges detail.

Hampton is being held in Hennepin County Jail.