MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A mother is facing charges after police say her two-year-old son got his hands on a handgun at their north Minneapolis home and ending up shooting himself.
The child was rushed to the hospital, but survived the shooting in the Lind-Bohanon neighborhood on Sept. 16. Police say they were called to North Memorial Hospital after the shooting at the child's home on the 4500 block of Aldrich Avenue North.
At the hospital officers spoke with the boy's mother, 35-year-old Christine Lynn Thompson, who initially told police she was in the front yard with her son around 11:45 p.m. when a dark-colored sedan rolled up, she heard gunshots, and it sped away. Thompson then said she saw her son had been hurt. She said she called her older son to drive them to the hospital.
However, during the investigation, other nearby neighbors said they didn't hear any gunshots. Police also said they didn't receive a report from ShotSpotter saying there had been a shooting. Investigators were also unable to recover evidence, like casings or bullets, from the area.
After speaking with the mother again, she claimed the gunshots weren't loud, and it's possible it may have been a BB gun. But, after reviewing the wound, which doctors said entered at his wrist and traveled towards his elbow, police determined it was a serious injury and had to be a bullet.
When officers were able to speak with the victim's older brother, the brother admitted the 2-year-old had shot himself with a handgun. The brother said he kept a small pistol under his bed to protect his mother and brother.
After getting a search warrant, police found a loaded gun under the pillow of the brother's bed along with ammo. They also spotted a bullet hole in the room's door frame.
In a follow-up interview with Thompson, police said she admitted the two-year-old boy had accidentally shot himself. The mother said she had gone into her older son's room to look for some cash and the two-year-old boy had followed her. Shortly after, she heard the shot and realized her son had been shot. She said the gun had been lying on a chair with a bandana wrapped around it and the boy had just picked it up.
Thompson is facing two counts of endangerment of a child by firearm access. She faces up to six years behind bars if convicted.