Four-year-old boy dies after shooting himself in the head with gun in car as mother smoked cannabis

Police said Jarion Walker was sitting in the back of a car with two younger siblings when he got hold of his father’s gun and fatally shot himself in the forehead

Rachel Sharp
Tuesday 01 February 2022 21:16 GMT
Investigators reveal four-year-old died from self-inflicted gunshot wound
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A four-year-old boy has died after he accidentally shot himself in the head with his father’s gun inside a car where his mother and another adult were smoking marijuana, according to authorities.

Jarion Walker suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head while sitting in a vehicle on the 900 block of Stillwell Lane in Westego, Louisiana, at around 10.45pm on Saturday.

The little boy was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto announced at a press conference on Monday night that Jarion’s autopsy and ballistic evidence had revealed the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

The sheriff said that the little boy was sitting in the back of the parked car with his two younger siblings when he is believed to have found his father’s gun under the seat.

Jarion got hold of the gun and fatally shot himself in the forehead, he said.

The boy’s mother and another adult, who have not been named, told investigators that they were smoking marijuana in the front seats of the car and weren’t watching what the three children were doing at the time.

Initially, investigators were looking into the possibility that one of the adults or even one of Jarion’s siblings, aged 22 months and one years old, had pulled the trigger.

The sheriff explained that this was because the gunshot wound appeared to be in back of his head.

“We did not think it was possible for a four-year-old to manipulate a weapon to be able to shoot in that angle that the bullet entered in from,” he said.

However, Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich found that the wound was “a contact wound to the forehead, right above the right eyebrow”.

Sheriff Lopinto said this "made it more probable that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound by the 4-year-old.”

No arrests have been made in the case, with the sheriff saying he did not believe it would be “appropriate” while the family is grieving the boy’s death.

"I don’t think it was appropriate to make an arrest at this point. They just lost a child, and it certainly wasn’t intentional, by any means,” he said.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, he urged gun owners not to leave firearms in their vehicles or within reach of children.

"These types of deaths can certainly be prevented," he said.

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