Boy dies after 'accidental shooting while play wrestling with his father'

Peter Stubley
Tyler Shaw died in hospital four days after the accident at his family home in Bloomington: Brandi Conder / Shaw family

A four-year-old boy has died after being accidentally shot while “play wrestling” with his father, according to police.

The child, named by his family as Tripp Shaw, suffered head injuries when a Glock semi-automatic handgun went off at the family home in Bloomington, Indiana.

His father Tyler Shaw, 36, was also hit by the same bullet during the incident at around 8pm last Sunday, 19 January, but is expected to recover.

The local Herald-Times newspaper reported that the gun had fallen out from the back of Mr Shaw’s pants while he was playing with his son on a bed.

It discharged one shot and both the boy and his father were shot in the head, according to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The boy was taken by helicopter to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis but died on Thursday, 23 January.

His death was confirmed on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the family.

The boy’s aunt, Nikki Hughes, said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share the passing of my precious little nephew, Tripp. After a tragic accident, he has gone this morning to be with Jesus.

“We first and foremost covet your prayers the family adjust to life without their 4-year-old son and brother.

“We also ask for any help you can give to their family. They have so many expenses due to the time in the hospital and unexpected funeral.”

Monroe County Sheriff’s Officers said in a statement that “this case remains active by investigators.”

Sheriff Brad Swain told Indiana Public Media that they were trying to determine the cause of the discharge.

“The firearm is going is going to be sent to the state police lab for firearm examiners to determine if there was any flaw with this particular firearm,” he said.

“Once we have all the information then it goes to the prosecutor’s office to determine if there is concern of reckless possession of a firearm or neglect.”

There were 486 “preventable or accidental” gun-related deaths in the US in 2017, according to the National Safety Council, amounting to just over one percent of the total of 39,773.

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