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Beech Grove man charged after 4-year-old seen on live TV with a gun

Police said the child was holding a loaded gun in an apartment hallway. Neighbors said the boy was waving it around, even pulling the trigger.

BEECH GROVE, Ind. — The video shocked people nationwide over the weekend: a young child, caught on camera, playing with a loaded handgun.

Now, we're learning more from police and neighbors about the dangerous discovery that led to a father's arrest on live TV.

Officers arrested 45-year-old Shane Osborne on Saturday night at Beech Meadow apartments, located on Diplomat Court, near Churchman and Emerson avenues, in Beech Grove.

On Jan. 18, Osborne was charged with dangerous control of a firearm and two counts of neglect of a dependent. Osborne, is due in court Thursday at 1 p.m. 

During Saturday night's police investigation, viewers nationwide saw the disturbing images of the little boy — in real time — because Beech Grove police are featured on a show called "On Patrol: Live," which airs on REELZ. 

A neighbor's Ring doorbell camera showed a diaper-clad 4-year-old, playing with a loaded gun.

He's seen waving the weapon around, even pulling the trigger.

"It's almost incomprehensible what you're watching," said Beech Grove Deputy Police Chief Robert Mercuri. "I saw it the next day, and even though I knew the outcome, as I'm watching the video, I was still scared. You find yourself catching your breath. I don't know how you can't watch that video, parent or non-parent, and not be shocked and disturbed."

"Watching that video, ohhhh, you can't, you can't unsee it," said neighbor Nicole Summers. "He just kept going, 'pow, pow, pow, pow.'"

Summers is the one who called 911 and brought police to Beech Meadow apartments Saturday evening.

She said the little boy came to their door and pointed the pistol at her son.

Then, she saw the gun, too.

"My son, he opened the door and then shut it and backed away and he was like, 'Uh...baby with a gun. Get out of here, get out of here!' Then, I looked through the peephole. He [the child] was standing in the middle of the hallway, and he was just kind of holding it behind his back, and I thought...like that's a real gun. I sell guns for a living, so I know what a gun looks like."

What happened next all played out on live TV.

A docuseries featuring Beech Grove police, "On Patrol: Live," was rolling as officers confronted the child's father.

Credit: Beech Grove Police Department
Shane Osborne, 45, of Beech Grove.

Osborne told police he was sick and had been sleeping when his son got out. He denied having a gun in the home, saying he has previous felonies.

According to court documents, Osborne assisted officers in a brief look throughout the apartment with no gun located.

As officers were leaving the apartment building, a neighbor flagged them down and showed them security camera footage of the incident, in which the boy was seen walking around the landing of the building with the gun.

Officers returned to the apartment for another search, and the boy led them to a rolltop desk, where the gun was found, court documents state.

Police said there were 15 rounds in the magazine. Thankfully, none of those bullets were in the chamber.

Credit: Beech Grove Police Department
Video from the Beech Grove Police Department shows a 4-year-old boy holding a gun outside an apartment.

Police arrested Osborne on felony child neglect charges. Police also credit neighbors for taking action and speaking up.

"It was key," Mercuri said, "because you have that immediate video, you take the step forward to get involved, to be helpful, then officers on the scene can do the job that everybody wants them to do."

Neighbors said they simply had to help after watching in horror, as that young child waved around a weapon.

"He kind of looked down just from the opening of the stairway and was like, 'Look what I got. Ha ha,'" Summers said, "and then when we saw the video of him pulling the trigger and knowing that ... he had pointed that ... gun at my son? It was traumatic."

And it was a dangerous discovery, that police and neighbors said could have ended much worse.

"We were lucky to see him, to find him, and we were so blessed that gun was not chambered," Summers said, "or that baby could be dead."

DCS is also investigating this case. 

The child is now with his mother. 13News talked to her by phone Monday.

The child's mother told 13News the video of her son with a gun was scary, but also defended Osborne, saying he's a good dad.

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley released the following statement Monday: 

"I received notification from our Police Chief soon after this incident took place. 

As with all of you, I'm mortified and what took place and I'm so thankful that no one was hurt, especially the young child.

I appreciate the quick action taken by the Beech Grove Police Department to secure the small child and the gun in question.

I ask that the Marion County Prosecutor's Office work tirelessly to secure charges and a conviction against the responsible parties, with maximum penalties. Society shouldn't accept anything less."

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