Police say the 3-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the stomach, after the boy's father left a loaded handgun lying on his bed. Just before 7 p.m. Monday night, the boy's father, Nate Steward, 34, said he returned home from the store with his 3-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.
As Steward walked into his home with his children, he told police the handgun he was carrying inside his pants started to fall down his leg. Steward says he got into his house quickly so the gun would not fall out of his pants. Once inside, he says he placed the loaded handgun on his bed in the bedroom while his kids were in the living room and kitchen. The father then went to the back door to let one of his dogs out. While outside with the dog, Steward told police he heard a gunshot inside the home. He went back in to find his 3-year-old son bleeding and holding his stomach. The boy fell to the floor and Steward picked him up and rushed him to Children's Mercy Hospital in his own car.
The boy had surgery and should recover.
Police said when they arrived at the hospital they saw Steward's gun in plain view on the passenger seat of his car. The doors were unlocked and the windows rolled down. Anyone could have grabbed the gun.
Police did not indicate if Steward had a concealed weapons permit or if any charges will be filed.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.