‘It’s very sad’: Community heartbroken over ‘preventable’ shooting of East Nashville 2-year-old

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A two-year-old is fighting for his life after getting his hands on a gun in East Nashville. Now the boy’s father is on the run, wanted for questioning.

It happened Monday night at Oakwood Flats apartments. 

Metro police say the child’s father, 23-year-old Jeffery Thorpe, dropped his son and his mother off at the hospital and never returned. The toddler has since moved from Tristar Skyline Medical Center to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital where he was last listed in extremely critical condition.

“It’s very sad; it’s very unfortunate,” Carrington Jones told News 2. 

She lives in the complex and saw the commotion outside of her apartment.

“A 2-year-old was unfortunately shot,” she explained. 

Unintentionally shot, as the child’s mother told Metro police that the boy’s father put his gun on a bed and that the toddler picked it up and fired it, striking himself in the head. 

“Very irresponsible,” stated Linda McFadyen-Ketchum with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. 

She says it’s a tragedy that is 100 percent preventable.

“You just can’t leave the gun on the bed or the bedside table or in a closet. It’s not hidden; hiding is not okay. It has to be locked up and the ammunition has to be locked up somewhere else, not together.”

Apparently this is not the first time Thorpe has been in trouble with his gun. He is also wanted on an outstanding aggravated assault warrant for pointing a gun at a car with his little boy and his mother inside of it just last June.

“I hope they find him, you know, that’s your child. It’s not okay to run away from something like this,” said Jones. 

According to #notanaccident statistics, so far there have been at least 12 unintentional shootings by children in Tennessee this year.

“Anytime one dies in such a preventable way, it’s heartbreaking and also makes me angry that we don’t do more about it,” said McFadyen-Ketchum. 

That’s why Moms Demand Action campaigns to reduce child gun deaths, promoting safe storage of guns and saying incidents like this wouldn’t happen. 

“One of the hallmarks of being a responsible gun owner is that you know how to secure your guns and that you do it; you don’t forget,” stated McFadyen-Ketchum.

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