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Terrifying moment 4-year-old waves loaded pistol on live police reality TV show

‘This is the child with the loaded weapon’

Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday 17 January 2023 02:08 GMT
Moment toddler waves around loaded pistol on live police reality TV show

A man has been arrested after a shocking incident in which a four-year-old boy was shown on a real life police show brandishing and waving a loaded handgun.

The man has been charged with neglect after thousands of people watched police respond shortly after the incident and arrest the man.

Moments after police arrived at the apartment in Beech Grove, Indiana, viewers were shown video footage, taken from a neighbours’s security camera, of the youngster waving and pointing the gun.

“We just got the video, the surveillance video, this is it … Wow,” said Dan Abrams, a presenter with On Patrol: Live. “This is the child with the loaded weapon.”

The episode was part of a show that was shown over the weekend, as Beech Grove Police Department is one of eight forces across the nation that participate in the show, broadcast on the Reelz cable network.

“Just prior to the show going live at 9pm, the Beech Grove PD responded to the call, with officers interviewing a neighbour in the apartment complex, who had called 911, stating she and her son had witnessed the child alone in the hallway outside their unit, and that he had been holding a gun and pointing it at them,” said a show press release.

“When police arrived at the apartment where the toddler was staying with his father, they questioned the father who stated he did not have a gun.”

It added: “However, when police viewed the neighbour-provided home surveillance video of the toddler, it clearly showed the child in the apartment hallway alone, playing with the gun like a toy, waving and pointing it and pulling the trigger.”

The show’s producers said they “followed live news-gathering protocols as its cameras document for viewers in real time the everyday work of police officers on patrol”.

Beech Grove Deputy Police Chief Robert Mercuri told The Independent that 45-year-old Shane Osborne had been charged with child neglect charges. He is due to appear in court later this week.

He said the incident happened on Satuday evening when police responded to a call from the Beech Meadow Apartments.

“Upon arrival officers spoke with neighbours who had seen a small child carying what they believed to be a black and silver handgun inside the common hallway of the apartment building,” Mr Mercuri said in an email.

“Officers were able to track down the child and his father in one of the apartments. The father denied that any firearms were in the residence and the officers did a cursory check of the apartment’s living room.”

He said officers were then able to watch a neighbour’s video footage.

“This video showed the young child had indeed been in the common hallway with what appeared to be a real firearm,” he said.

“Officers went back to the apartment and spoke with Osborne again. After further investigation a firearm was located, and Osborne was arrested. Final charges will be determined by the Marion County Prosecutors Office.”

A man has been arrested after footage stunned viewers

Police said they seized a semi-automatic Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol. While no rounds were in the gun’s chamber, there were 15 rounds in the magazine.

In a statement, Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley said: “As with all of you, I’m mortified and what took place and I’m so thankful that no one was hurt, especially the young child. I appreciate the quick action taken by the Beech Grove Police Department to secure the small child and the gun in question.”

Neighbor Nicole Summers had been the person who called the police.

“Watching that video, ohhhh, you can’t, you can’t unsee it,” she told WTHR TV. ”He just kept going, ‘pow, pow, pow, pow’.”

She added: “My son, he opened the door and then shut it and backed away and he was like, ‘Uh ... baby with a gun. Get out of here, get out of here!’ Then I looked through the peephole.”

She added: “He was standing in the middle of the hallway and he was just kind of holding it behind his back and I thought ... like that’s a real gun. I sell guns for a living, so I know what a gun looks like.”

The incident will likely spark further debate about gun safety, coming just a week after a six-year-old first-grader in Newport News, Virginia, brought a gun to school and shot a teacher.

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