Grandma of boy who accidentally shot himself appears in court

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The woman accused of leaving a gun out near a child who allegedly shot himself in the head made her initial appearance in court Thursday, April 3rd.

48-year-old Renee Smith faces a misdemeanor charge of leaving or storing a loaded firearm near a child. She pleaded not guilty.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith left the gun in a shoe box underneath a bed, where her 4-year-old grandson got a hold of it March 19th. Police were called to her home on North 45th St. just after 5 p.m. for a report of a shooting.

Prosecutors say that Smith's grandson accidentally shot himself in the head after finding the gun while playing with two other children. Smith told police she was in the room when the gun went off -- and that she was storing it for another person.

In court, with an attorney present, Smith spoke only once to say she understood the charge she's facing. She was given a $1,000 bond and other requirements -- including no use or possession of firearms -- before leaving court.

As Smith walked to the elevators, she became upset and vulgar as questions were being asked of her. Smith refused to answer how her grandson is doing.

FOX6 has been told the boy did survive the shooting.

If convicted, Smith faces up to nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines.