Toddler Shoots Parents After Finding Their Unsecured Gun on Nightstand

A 2-year-old boy from Maine has injured himself, his mother and his father, after firing a gun that had been left on his parents' nightstand.

The Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office said it had received reports of multiple gunshot wounds at a home in the town of West Bath at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

The boy is said to have found the loaded and unsecured gun in his parents' bedroom and fired one round that struck both his mother and his father.

The mother, 22, sustained a gunshot wound to her leg and the father, 25, sustained a minor injury to the back of his head. The toddler was injured after the gun struck his face when it recoiled.

None of the injuries were life threatening, but all three were transported to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick for treatment.

A 3-week-old baby was also in the room at the time of the shooting, but was unharmed. The infant was handed over to their grandmother, who lives at the same address but was not at home when the incident occurred, according to police.

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said his department was trying to find out why the firearm had not been stored securely.

"The question of how the boy was able to pick up and fire the weapon is of great concern and is being investigated," Merry said in a statement, via local TV station WGME.

"This situation, while disturbing, could have had an even more tragic ending. We are thankful that the injuries were not more serious."

Merry said the incident should be taken as a warning, adding that the sheriff's office offered free trigger locks to Sagadahoc County residents.

"In the 12 years I've been sheriff, we've never had a situation like this," Merry told the Portland Press Herald.

"If you have children, you really should be securing any firearm in a locked closet or cabinet or have a trigger lock."

No one has been charged over the incident, but it remains under investigation.

Newsweek has contacted Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office for an update.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 250 children aged 11 and under have been injured by a firearm in the U.S. so far this year. More than 1,000 older children—those between the ages of 12 and 17—have been injured.

The number of children killed by guns in the U.S. since the start of 2021 stands at more than 500—113 children aged 11 and under, plus 421 aged from 12 to 17, according to the archive.

(File photo) Minneapolis Police officer rolls up caution tape at a crime scene on June 16, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Police say a 2-year-old boy injured his parents as well as himself after he fired a gun that he found on a nightstand in Maine.