A Hermiston toddler shot in the head on Nov. 10 is home with his family and walking around.
Based on interviews and forensic evidence, Hermiston Police Department believe the boy, 2, was accidentally shot in the head by his seven-year-old sibling with a Baretta handgun that their mother kept in a vehicle. No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the case.
The family is not being identified in order to protect the identities of the two minors involved. But the boys’ mother said the toddler has been home from Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for two weeks and is walking around and interacting normally with family.
He has another surgery scheduled and has to wear a helmet for the time being to cover the opening in his skull. His mother said she has noticed his reflexes have seemed “a little slow” and doctors have said it is too soon to tell what lingering effects he may have in the future, but they told her the area of the brain that was injured is “pretty forgiving” at such a young age. The family considers his recovery a miracle.
On the day of the incident, the boy’s mother was having trouble starting her car and was outside the vehicle trying to figure out what was wrong when the seven-year-old got out to join her.
In a moment she said she will always regret, she told him to get in the car and stay there. Sometime after, she heard a bang and her son’s shouts of “Mommy, mommy, the baby is bleeding!”
Seeing her son covered in blood and rushing him to the hospital was terrifying, she said. She hopes other parents learn from the horrifying experience her family went through and never leave a loaded gun where young children can access it, like the unlocked case she used.
“Don’t leave things like that in the reach of your children,” she said. “I’m thankful my son made it, but if it had been off by just a little bit he wouldn’t be here.”
Contact Jade McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4536.