KC boy, 3, finds gun on dad’s bed, accidentally shoots himself

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  A 3-year-old boy remained in stable condition Tuesday after shooting himself with a gun left on his father's bed.

It happened Monday night inside a home near College and Moulton.

Police say the 3-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the stomach, after the boy's father left a loaded handgun lying on his bed. Just before 7 p.m. on Monday night, the boy's father, Nate Steward, 34, said he returned home from the store with his 3-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.

As Steward walked into his home with his children, he told police the handgun he was carrying inside his pants started to fall down his leg. Steward says he got into his house quickly so the gun would not fall out of his pants. Once inside, he says he placed the loaded handgun on his bed in the bedroom while his kids were in the living room and kitchen. The father then went to the back door to let one of his dogs out. While outside with the dog, Steward told police he heard a gunshot inside the home. He went back in to find his 3-year-old son bleeding and holding his stomach. The boy fell to the floor and Steward picked him up and rushed him to Children's Mercy Hospital in his own car.

"I just started to come out here and see if he was all right because I heard that little boy got shot and I feel sorry for his family," said Mike Tucker, Steward's neighbor. "I know they are going through a lot. I hope he gets better to keep his kids safe. He's a real good friend of mine. I've never seen him do anything wrong. He's never been to jail. I just trust him."

Neighbors tell FOX 4 News the boy had surgery and should recover. The father told police that he was sure he had activated the safety on the gun and his children never saw him set the gun down in the bedroom.

Still, responding police officers say when they arrived at the hospital, they spotted steward's gun lying in plain view on the passenger seat of his SUV.  Police say the doors were unlocked and windows rolled down enough where anyone could have grabbed the firearm.

Neighbors call the Stewards are a nice family, but one that's concerned about their safety and security. The family is known for keeping two large dogs, one chained up by the front door, and another tied up by the back door.

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  • Joe

    If there is ever a case of child neglect that should be prosecuted, this is it. When parents are held accountable for their negligence, kids will be safer. This little boy should never have been shot. Had it not been for the stupidity and negligence of his dad, he would be home playing right now.

  • Suzi McMullen

    They don’t have to be doing something wrong to want security. There are a lot of break ins. Maybe they are paranoid because they watch the news? I’m sure the dad is kicking himself. But leaving the gun in the truck…that was stupid on top of stupid.

  • Really?

    Yes security comes in many other forms besides a gun, but just because he has big dogs and guns does not make him a criminal. Leaving a gun where a child can get it is negligence and he should be charged with that at the least.

  • karenhance

    We moved to Pacific, MO from Toledo, OH when I was young. That was such a bad area that my parents were somewhat paranoid. Even when we moved out on some acreage and couldn’t see our neighbors’ houses, we still locked our doors and had dogs and guns. When you are from the city, you never forget some of the things you have seen.

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