Neighbors shocked by shooting death of 3-year-old boy
A three-year-old boy was killed over the weekend after finding a unattended handgun in his home. The gun discharged, striking the toddler in the head.
"I was, like, you gotta be kidding," said Fred Patterson, a resident of the north side neighborhood where the shooting happened.
Patterson said he learned about the boy's death from his daughter. It is believed the child found a gun unattended on a counter inside the home.
"I don't know the full details as far as the gun, but man, the way things have been going on around the city and the country, they should have been secured or had a trigger lock or something," Patterson said.
The home belonging to Nicholas Gulling is well-protected. A privacy fence extends all around the house, but in this case, the danger was within.
"I think they really cared about their children. It's just a careless accident," neighbor Rick Lisby said.
Lisby was standing in front of his home just across the street, holding a grocery bag in each hand. He says he often observed the family walking in the neighborhood.
"Good family. Breaking my heart. Loving family. I mean, I don't know," he continued.
Lisby says guns are not commonplace in this neighborhood. That is just part of what makes all of this so difficult.
"A child having access to a gun. Too many guns on the streets, too many innocent people being harmed and too many careless people with guns," Lisby almost pleaded.
With Christmas approaching, it's almost too much, even for Lisby.
"It's sad. Sorry," he concluded, trying to fight back tears.
Sometimes words are just not enough.
The mother, father and a four-year-old daughter were also at home at the time of the incident. IMPD says the investigation is ongoing.