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Toddler, 3, shot dead mother Dejah Bennet, 22, in parked car outside Chicago store and father now faces gun violence charges

The father of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot his mother over the weekend may face gun violence charges, police said.

The family was in their car in the parking lot of a Food for Less store in suburban Dolton when the boy somehow got hold of the gun and fired it, hitting his mother.

The father of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his mother over the weekend faces gun violence charges

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The father of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his mother over the weekend faces gun violence chargesCredit: WLS
The family was in their car in the parking lot of a Food for Less store when the little boy got his hands on the gun

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The family was in their car in the parking lot of a Food for Less store when the little boy got his hands on the gun

The father was in the driver’s seat, the mother in the front passenger seat, and the boy in a car seat in the back.

Dolton Police said the boy’s parents were unaware he had the gun before it was fired, hitting 22-year-old Daejah Collins in the neck Associated Press reported.

The boy’s father, 23-year-old Romell Watson, was reportedly arrested after the shooting.

According to the Associated Press report, he is charged with unlawful use of firearms.

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Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins Jr. said investigators were working to determine the exact charges against Watson.

There was no indication he fired the gun or even knew the boy was holding the gun at the time of Saturday’s shooting.

Investigators determined that Watson legally owned the gun but did not have a concealed carry permit, which he would have needed to carry it in the car.

According to the report, a person who specializes in talking to children interviewed the boy.

“The kid said he was the one who fired the gun,” Collins said. “We are confident that he fired the gun.”

Advocacy for gun safety Everytown for Gun Safety reported that between 2015 and 2020, at least 2,070 accidental shootings occurred by children under the age of 18.

They said this resulted in 765 deaths and 1,366 injuries.

During this period, the children who inadvertently fired the gun in these incidents ranged from toddlers and preschoolers to teenagers under the age of 18.

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Adolescents aged 14 to 17 years represented the largest group, children under five years of age were the second largest affected age group.

“Each year, hundreds of children in the United States gain access to unsecured, loaded guns in closets and nightstand drawers, in backpacks and purses, or just left out. With tragic regularity, children find these unsecured guns and accidentally shoot themselves or someone else,” says the Everytown for Gun Safety report.

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17950498/toddler-shoots-mom-death-dad-facing-gun-charges/ Toddler, 3, shot dead mother Dejah Bennet, 22, in parked car outside Chicago store and father now faces gun violence charges

Bobby Allyn

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