A couple from Pennsylvania is facing charges after their four-year-old son accidentally shot himself in the head with a handgun that was left unsecured on the floor of their bedroom. The parents, Laura Steele and Michael Lynn, are being charged with endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person. The incident, which occurred on July 6, resulted in serious injuries to their son, Ronnie Lynn.
District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli, in a statement released on Monday, described the incident as a preventable tragedy. She emphasized the importance of storing firearms in a safe and secure location to prevent such incidents from happening.
The incident took place in the family’s home in Rostaver Township. The police were alerted after the young boy accidentally shot himself with a loaded gun that was kept unsecured under the bed. Both parents were at home at the time of the incident and rushed to their son’s aid after hearing a gunshot.
Steele reportedly told the police that her son would often reach under the bed to retrieve his paint set, which is where the family kept the gun. She admitted to forgetting about the firearm’s presence due to its long-term placement under the bed. Her primary concern, she said, was that her son might injure himself with scissors.
Following the incident, Ronnie was immediately taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital for surgery. He has since been undergoing physical therapy to regain the use of his arms and legs, and to relearn speech. More than five months post-incident, Ronnie continues to receive constant medical care. His grandfather revealed that while Ronnie is now able to walk, he still struggles with the use of his right arm.
Ziccarelli stated that the incident will likely leave a lasting impact on Ronnie, serving as a painful reminder for the rest of his life. The mother reportedly blames herself for the incident, stating that she was too tired to pay attention to her son.