James' family called 911 and reported that he had retrieved a handgun from a drawer that was kept in an end table and shot himself in the head.
A 3-year-old boy named James Kenneth Lindquester, from Aloha, Oregon, accidentally shot himself in the head after he found a handgun in a bedroom, reports TODAY. On Friday, October 9th, around 9:49 pm, James' family called 911 and reported that he had retrieved a handgun from a drawer that was kept in an end table and shot himself in the head. Immediately, the officials who responded to the call and the fire and rescue department tried their to save James' life, but in vain. He was later taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before midnight the same day.
"If you ask any first responder, the death of a child is the absolute worst call that we go to," Washington County Deputy Shannon Wilde told local station KATU. "It’s tough. A lot of us are parents ourselves. I know some of the responders on the scene last night have children. Some have children the same age as this little boy, and it’s tough. We see a lot of horrible things, but seeing a child in that situation is the worst." KOIN 6 reports that James’ father, the father’s girlfriend, and another child were home at the time of the incident, but the little one was alone in the room when the horrible incident took place.
A post by the Washington County Sheriff's Office read: 3-year-old Boy Dead After Shooting Incident. On Friday, October 9, 2020, at 9:49 p.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a shooting in the 7100 block of SW Millenium Terrace in Aloha. Family members of 3-year-old James Kenneth Lindquester called 911 to report James had gotten a handgun out of a bedroom end table drawer and shot himself in the head. Deputies along with Metro West and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue took over life-saving efforts from the family. James was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased just before midnight.
Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit and the Special Investigations Unit responded to the scene and the investigation is on-going. An autopsy will be conducted on October 10 at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office. James’ family provided the photos of him to be released with this information. What's unfortunate is that this is not the first time such an incident has taken place. Everytown for Gun Safety reports that just this year alone, in March and April, there were 21 deaths due to unintentional shootings by children under 17 in the U.S. That’s approximately ten shooting accidents per month.
And on average, 350 children under 17 unintentionally kill or injure themselves or someone else with a gun every year. 77 percent of those incidents happen inside the home. “Adults can’t count on children to ‘know better’ and not touch firearms,” Sarah Burd-Sharps, research director for Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, told CBS News in May. “It’s always a parent’s responsibility to keep guns out of the reach of children and teens.” This is a horrible tragedy and we hope this acts as a lesson to all parents with guns. Gun safety is the key, because we never know what could happen.