4-year-old picks up father’s gun, shoots him and herself, Milwaukee police say

Posted at 10:13 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 00:14:21-04

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police said a 4-year-old girl picked up her father's handgun on Sunday, and accidentally shot him and herself.

The incident happened near 61st Street and Morgan Avenue around 10:15 a.m. Sunday, according to WITI.

The girl and her father were treated at an area hospital and were expected to recover from injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

Police said the 33-year-old father of the 4-year-old girl lied to police about the circumstances surrounding the shooting and was taken into custody -- with charges referred to the district attorney.

Lisa Klindt Simpson

Lisa Klindt Simpson

"Any time there is a tragedy, it hurts all of us," said Lisa Klindt Simpson with Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin.

Klindt Simpson, the Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin coordinator, works to prevent these types of situations.

"There are some easy tips parents and caregivers can follow to help keep their house safe if they have a gun in the home," said Klindt Simpson.

First and foremost, she recommended storing the gun in a safe, locked space, out of the reach of children.

"When you store that gun, always store the ammunition separately," said Klindt Simpson. "Make sure the key is away from where the lock is so it's not accessible to children."

Gun lock

It's estimated that about one-third of households with children 17 and under have a gun in the home, so Klindt Simpson recommended both physical and verbal steps be taken to keep kids safe.

"Take time -- talk with your children," said Klindt Simpson. "Teach them that the guns they see in their home are different than the guns they see on TV or in games -- that if they do see a gun, they should never touch it. Always get an adult, and let the adult know, 'Here the gun is.'"