Toddler Shoots 8-month-old Baby in the Face While Couple Showered Together in Motel Room

An eight-month-old girl is in hospital after being shot in the face by a toddler in a New Mexico hotel.

Police say that Shayanne Nelson and Tyrell Bitsilly were in the shower in the hotel in Gallup on Saturday when Nelson's three-year-old child found a gun and accidentally fired it, hitting the baby, reported the Associated Press.

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According to police documents, Nelson, 18, claims she had been unaware there was a firearm in the room, and claims it may have been left there by a previous occupant.

The baby was taken to hospital, and her current condition is unknown.

Tyrell Bitsilly
Tyrell Bitsilly has been charged with child abuse after a toddler shot a baby in a New Mexico hotel room Handout

Both Nelson and Bitsilly face child abuse charges.

One witness told police he saw Bitsilly, 21, wipe the gun after it was fired.

A 2012 to 2014 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that on average 5,790 children in the United States receive treatment for gun injuries annually, with around 21 percent of these injuries incurred by shots fired unintentionally.

A four-year-old child accudentally shot a baby in Texas in March. Police said the shooting appeared to be an accident that took place inside the home in Temple.

In August, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence launched a campaign to reduce the casualties of so-called “family fire” or shootings involving unsecured firearms in the home.

According to the group, eight children are shot every day with unsecured firearms left in the home.

“We can all agree, eight children being unintentionally shot and injured or killed every day is simply unconscionable,” Brady co-president Kris Brown said in a statement. “Just like the term ‘designated driver' changed perceptions about drinking and driving, the term ‘Family Fire' will help create public awareness to change attitudes and actions around this important matter.”

The campaign urged parents to store firearms with a gun lock, keep them in an inaccessible location, and keep guns separate from ammunition.

However, a Rutgers School of Nursing study released in May of this year found that children who participate in gun safety programs often ignore what they learned when encountering a real firearm.

Shayanne Nelson
Shayanne Nelson has been charged with child abuse after a toddler shot a baby in a New Mexico motel room Police handout