Missouri ranks second highest in shootings by toddlers since 2015

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COLUMBIA - Toddlers have shot seven people in Missouri since 2015, according to a Washington Post analysis. Only Georgia had more, with eight.

The Post gathered news reports where a one, two or three-year-old child fired a gun and injured or killed themselves or another person.

The report shows toddlers have shot at least 23 people in 2016. In 18 of the 23 shootings, a toddler accidentally shot themselves and nine of those shootings were fatal. 


One of the shootings happened in Boone County.  

Last July, a three-year-old shot himself in the arm and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

Det. Tom O'Sullivan from the Boone County Sheriff's Department said part of being a responsible gun owner is taking extra steps to ensure children don't have access to a gun.

"We work too many incidents when people have left guns laying out like it was the remote control for the TV and a kid gets a hold of it and then we have a tragedy on our hands," he said. "It's simple common sense." 

Columbia resident Paul Jobe has been a gun owner for more than 60 years and raised his children with guns in the house.

"I would put them where they couldn't see them. Every gun has a trigger lock that you can guard the trigger. I'd either put that on it or put it in a gun safe," he said. "At times when I didn't have all the places to lock them up safely, I took them to my brothers house and he had a gun safe."