The parents of a 4-year-old boy who discovered a gun while inside a car and shot himself have been charged, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office announced in a statement.
Shortly after noon on Tuesday, Manitou Springs Police officers responded to a call for shots fired. When they arrived, they discovered a deceased child, according to the statement.
Carlos Perez, 26, was allegedly inside Maggie’s Farm Marijuana Dispensary while his son and his 25-year-old wife, Ashlynne Perez, waited inside the car, according to an affidavit obtained by TV station KKTV.
“Ms. Perez told [her son] to re-buckle, but he refused to listen and climbed into the driver’s seat of the vehicle,” the affidavit states. “Then as she turned her head to look out the window towards the gas station … she heard a loud boom.”
The child, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the release from the sheriff’s office.
According to the affidavit, the parents allegedly told investigators that the boy was shown the gun the day before when it was unloaded, and the boy had played with the gun two times previously.
Carlos allegedly told investigators he stored the loaded gun inside the glove box, the station reported.
“Both parents were also aware [the child] was capable of exiting his booster seat and gaining access to the front seat of the vehicle. Neither placed the firearm in a safe location despite knowing the past history of [the child] and firearms resulting in this incident occurring,” states the affidavit.
Both parents were charged with one count of criminally negligent child abuse resulting in death. It was unclear whether the parents had entered pleas or obtained attorneys.