3-year-old recovering from surgery after shooting himself, South Fulton police say

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A 3-year-old boy was shot Wednesday morning at a home in South Fulton, police said.

Officers were called to the 200 block of Misty Walk and found the child suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to South Fulton police spokesman Lt. Jubal Rogers. The child was stable after being released from surgery late Wednesday afternoon, but he will require additional surgery Thursday, according to Rogers.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the child found an “unsecured weapon” under a bed and shot himself, Rogers said. Detectives responded to the scene to investigate the incident. No arrests have been made.

The shooting comes just a day after South Fulton police hosted a gun safety awareness event to educate residents on how to safely store weapons in hopes of preventing future tragedies.

South Fulton police officials said Wednesday’s shooting marked the third such incident in the city this year involving a child.

“Responsible gun ownership, safety and education is important, especially to our youth,” Rogers said. “This incident was 100% preventable. Chief (Keith) Meadows just spoke at a gun safety awareness seminar, stressing the importance of preventing unauthorized weapons access to our youth. We will continue to host these events to raise awareness in our community. We pray for a speedy recovery for this child.”

ExploreSouth Fulton girl, 5, dies after being shot by sibling at apartment

In late November, 5-year-old Khalis Eberhart was shot and killed when her 3-year-old sibling found a gun at their South Fulton apartment, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. The sibling shot Eberhart in the chest after finding an unsecured gun, Rogers said at the time.

That shooting occurred in the 4500 block of Washington Road, about 14 miles from Wednesday’s incident.

DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry introduced a local ordinance earlier this month that would mandate the safe and secure storage of firearms, something South Fulton mayor-elect Khalid Kamau said he plans to introduce as well when he takes office.

The DeKalb ordinance would make it unlawful to store firearms where “a minor, at-risk person or prohibited person” could easily gain access. It would require that guns either be stored in a locked container or “secured by a device or mechanism, other than the firearm safety, designed to render a firearm temporarily inoperable.”

Terry said that putting such an ordinance in place would play a part in addressing “the millions of children who are at risk from accessing unsecured firearms, or the hundreds of thousands of guns that are stolen out of vehicles that are funneled into the black market and used in violent crimes,” the AJC reported.

ExploreKids, teens across metro Atlanta among 2021 shooting deaths

The two South Fulton incidents are among more than two dozen shootings involving children and teenagers across metro Atlanta in 2021.

In Douglas County, 14-year-old Kyra Scott was shot inside her home Nov. 27 during an attempted robbery, the AJC previously reported. Authorities said Scott’s 13-year-old brother was making guns in the home and selling them. When a man came to buy one, the man tried to rob the boy of the gun, Douglas County Sheriff Tim Pounds said at the time. The boy fired a shot to stop the robber but instead hit his sister, police said. Both her brother and the man attempting to buy the gun were charged with murder.

On Nov. 13 in southwest Atlanta, 8-year-old Kayden Jones died after he was shot at the Brentwood Heights complex on Alison Court by another juvenile, the AJC previously reported. Jones was shot in the head with a semi-automatic rifle, according to an incident report. The juvenile, whose name and age were not released, was charged with murder, felony murder and cruelty to children.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.