ST. LOUIS (TCD) -- A 24-year-old woman and her 30-year-old boyfriend face criminal charges after her 2-year-old son reportedly found a gun and shot himself in the head in August.
At an Aug. 31 press briefing, St. Louis Interim Police Chief Michael Sack said officers received a call that day at approximately 1 p.m. regarding an accidental shooting involving a child. The first officer who arrived located a 2-year-old boy who had been shot in the head and was reportedly "bleeding profusely" and was "labored in his breathing."
Police moved the boy into the police car and started driving toward the hospital because "the estimated arrival time of the ambulance was going to be too great."
The police car met the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and EMS took the boy, Khori Patterson, the rest of the way. He was pronounced dead at the emergency room, Sack said.
Court records show Khori’s mom, Alea Little, and her boyfriend, Donnell Straughter, are each being charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child — death of a child. Both Little and Straughter are being held without bond.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Khori was in bed with Little and Straughter when he got out of bed and went into another room. Then, Little and Straughter heard a gunshot. Little reportedly told investigators that Straughter left the handgun on the television stand and neither of them moved it even though it was within Khori’s reach.
Straughter allegedly told Little after Khori shot himself, "They can’t know I had this gun. They can’t know he shot himself with this gun."
Little’s father, Lee Little, reportedly rushed over to the home and went in the police car and ambulance with the little boy.
He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch "I kept telling him to breathe, and he would take a breath. I said, 'Khori, if you hear me, hug me.' He wrapped his arm around me and he took a breath — and he never took another one."