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The Lake News Online
  • Lake Ozark Child Fatally Injures Self In Accidental Shooting

  • Lake Ozark Police Chief Mark Maples is calling an incident on Thursday involving a 2-year-old child fatally injuring himself with a small-caliber handgun a tragic accident.


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  • Lake Ozark Police Chief Mark Maples is calling an incident on Thursday involving a 2-year-old child fatally injuring himself with a small-caliber handgun a tragic accident.
    The little boy had pushed a chair up to the closet in his parent’s bedroom, and from there, was able to reach the loaded Kel-Tec .380-caliber handgun from a shelf. The child died from a gunshot wound to the head. The bullet was found lodged in a wall in the bedroom.
    The mother was alone with the toddler at the residence at the time of the shooting. Preliminary interviews indicate she thought her son was playing in another part of the house.
    Maples said she was in the living room when she heard the gunshot in the bedroom. She dialed 911 reporting the incident. The call was routed to Miller County dispatch before it was sent to Lake Ozark.
    The 911 call is of a woman screaming before static takes over the line. Maples believes the mother dialed from a cordless phone and ran outside, too far from the base of the phone causing the static.
    The first police officer arrived at the Frudeger Road residence around 11 a.m. Thursday and found the mother holding the child in the driveway of the home.
    Immediately, the officer began CPR on the small child, Maples said.
    A neighbor was able to tell officers that the child accidentally shot himself in the head.
    When the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District ambulance arrived with EMTs, they  took the toddler to Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach. Maples said a short while later, the department was notified that the child was pronounced dead.
    An autopsy was being conducted on Friday to determine the exact cause of death.
    Maples said he expects the results sometime next week. Until then, the investigation remains open and the name of the child is being withheld.
    The county prosecutor will also need time to consider formal charges, Maples said.
    A day after the incident, Maples said officers were still struggling with day’s events.
    “This is truly a tragedy. I don’t care how long you’ve been doing this job, this is truly a difficult thing to deal with,” Maples said. “Our sympathies go out to the entire family.”
    The child was the youngest of four children. The other three siblings were at school at the time of the incident.
    Contact this Lake Sun reporter at deanna.wheeler@lakesunonline.com.

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