Second incident in Nashville in less than a month

Sunday morning, a 2-year-old child as able to pick up a loaded gun from the door pocket of a vehicle and fire it, striking a 12-year-old child in the hip.  The shooting victim’s injuries are fortunately not life-threatening.

 “Storing a loaded gun in the door pocket of your vehicle makes it easy for the gun to end up in the hands of the wrong person, be it a thief or in this unfortunate case, a 2-year-old child,” said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for The Safe Tennessee Project.  “This could have ended tragically with the death of either the toddler or the 12-year-old who was struck by the bullet.  As is the case with all unintentional shootings, this was 100% preventable.  Our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery are with the victim.” 

According to the Safe Tennessee Project database, this is the 69th unintentional shooting so far this year, the 26th unintentional shooting involving a child under 18, and the 18th incident related to an irresponsibly stored, loaded gun.

We track all unintentional shootings reported through the media on our website. Click here for a list of all unintentional shootings involving both adults and children to date this year.

Unintentional shootings involving children with access to irresponsibly stored guns this year:


September 25, 2016 – Nashville – INJURY

A car pulled up to a residence in Donelson. A 2-year-old child that doesn’t live at the residence was able to pick up a loaded gun from a door pocket of the car and fire the gun, striking a 12-year-old in the hip. The child was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle, according to police, can legally carry the firearm, but does not have a carry permit.

August 30, 2016 – Nashville – INJURY

A 3-year-old gained access to his father’s loaded, unsecured gun and shot himself in the hand.  He was taken to the hospital.  His injuries are not considered life-threatening.  The gun belonged to the child’s father who is a security guard and a licensed gun permit holder.

July 10, 2016 – Lawrence County – INJURY

An Amish boy was unintentionally shot with a .22 rifle by another Amish boy while the two were playing. The victim was taken to Vanderbilt for treatment.

July 3, 2016 – East Ridge – FATALITY

A 17-year-old accidentally shot herself with a revolver in an apartment she was visiting in East Ridge. No details on who the gun belonged to. The girl later died from her injury.

Clarksville – July 1, 2016 – FATALITY

A 3-year-old toddler fatally shot himself in the face with a .40 caliber pistol. The child was visiting from Fort Riley, Kansas, with his family. The gun belonged to the homeowner.

June 7, 2016 – Lawrenceburg – INJURY

A Lawrence County boy is in the critical care unit at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville after he was accidentally shot in the chest with a BB gun. Caleb Young, 10, was shot in the chest at close range Tuesday night while outside shooting with the BB gun with another boy.

May 26, 2016 – Murfreesboro – INJURY

A boy who was cleaning a rifle he thought was unloaded unintentionally fired it. The bullet struck his father in the leg. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt. His condition is unknown.

May 12, 2016 – Memphis – INJURY

An 18-year-old was unintentionally shot in the chest as she got ready for prom. A 17-year-old friend was “playing around with a gun” when it went off, shooting the young woman and leaving her in critical condition. The 17-year-old was charged with aggravated assault.

May 7, 2016 – Smyrna – INJURY

A 2-year-old child was able to gain access to a loaded gun and accidentally shot herself. She was Life-Flighted to Vanderbilt and is expected to survive.

April 30, 2016 – Memphis – INJURY

A 17-year-old unintentionally shot himself near the campus of the University of Memphis.

April 29, 2016 – Lebanon – INJURY

A 10-year-old found a loaded shotgun and unintentionally shot himself in the abdomen.  He has been taken to the hospital.

March 24, 2016 – Memphis – INJURY

An 11-year-old little girl was shot by a playmate who was playing with a gun. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

March 19, 2016 – Nashville – INJURY

A 14-year-old boy in Nashville accidentally shot himself in the leg. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No word on how he had access to a loaded gun.

February 29, 2016 – Apison

3-year-old Gavin Pittman accidentally shot himself in the head in his family’s minivan.  The minivan was parked outside the family’s home.  The child’s mother was charged with criminally negligent homicide and child endangerment.

February 5, 2016 – East Ridge

A 16-year-old was found in a bedroom with a 15-year-old friend and a .380 semi-automatic handgun. The older child had been unintentionally shot by the younger one. The victim was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. Police report that his prognosis is not favorable. The shooter has been charged with aggravated assault. No information on how the boys had access to the gun. No adults have been charged.

January 25, 2016 – Crossville – FATALITY

Parents left four siblings in a car while they went inside a Verizon store to pay a bill. One child found a semi-automatic pistol left inside the mother’s purse and accidentally shot a 7-year-old boy also in the car. The child was shot in the head. He was flown to a Knoxville trauma center for medical treatment where he died. No charges have been filed.

January 3, 2016 – Knoxville

A 15-year-old boy and some friends were playing with a gun in the teen’s bedroom. The gun fired, injuring the boy. Initially the boy lied about what happened, saying he didn’t know how he was shot. The injured boy’s parents say that one of the boy’s friends brought the gun over to the house. No word yet on any charges or how the teen with the gun had access to it.

 January 3, 2016 – Memphis

According to police, a 15-year-old boy’s father was approaching the house when he heard two shots. The teen opened the door and said he shot himself. The boy was taken to the Regional Medical Center in critical condition, police said.