Milwaukee mother charged; toddler shot himself

Kwavaesha Alderson, 28, of Milwaukee has been charged after her 2-year-old son got his hands on a gun, shooting himself.

On the day of the shooting, prosecutors say Alderson lost track of the gun.

Milwaukee police were called to a hospital around 11:50 p.m. on Friday, May 14 to investigate the circumstances surrounding a 2-year-old boy who had suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Once stabilized at that hospital, the toddler was transferred to Children's Wisconsin.

A neurosurgeon told police the fired round entered above the 2-year-old's left eye and exited the back of his head. As of Tuesday, May 18 the boy remains in critical condition at the hospital.

A criminal complaint states police interviewed Alderson – the child's mother – learning she had bought a gun six years ago for self-protection. The day of the shooting, the complaint states, Alderson took a nap in the living room of her home near 48th and Congress. She then left to pick up her children from daycare, and realized her gun was no longer on her hip. After picking up her kids, she told police, she "forgot about her firearm."

Later that night, the complaint states, Alderson was at home watching Netflix upstairs when she heard a gunshot and rushed downstairs where the boy's father was. She said the father was holding the boy and was screaming that the toddler had shot himself. They rushed the boy to the hospital. 

While speaking with investigators, Alderson said her gun had fallen from its holster three or four times in the past, according to the complaint. She admitted that she forgot to retrieve and secure it upon returning home from the daycare the day of the shooting.

Police searched her home, where they found blood in multiple locations and the gun on a bookshelf in the living room.

Alderson is charged with one count of neglecting a child – consequence is great bodily harm.

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The incident comes as local leaders, like Joe'Mar Hooper with Safe & Sound, work to put an end to the city's gun violence.

"There's a lot of sadness in the community – with the homicides, non-fatal shootings, and the accidental shootings as well," Hooper said. "We really need to get back to building a community to address some of these issues."

Police said Alderson has been "completely cooperative" during the investigation.

FOX6 News went to her home Tuesday and spoke with a relative off-camera who did not wish to provide a statement.

To access gun safety resources for parents, kids, and teens provided by Children's Wisconsin, CLICK HERE.


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