A young child accidentally shot and wounded his mother after grabbing a shotgun that had been left in the back seat of her car on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting took place just after 3:30 p.m. in the 14600 block of Dinard Avenue, in front of Ramona School, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Jorge Marchena said.
A woman in her 30s stopped to pick up her children, from the school, the lieutenant said.
The child, described as boy under 10 years old, got a hold of a the shotgun, which had been left in the back seat of the car, and fired it, officials said.
The blast went through the drive’s seat of the sedan and struck the child’s mother, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
The woman was shot in the “mid-torso,” Navarro-Suarez said. She was initially hospitalized in critical condition, but was later upgraded to stable condition.
Three other children who were in the car during the shooting, as well as the child who fired the shotgun, were placed in the care of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, officials said. None of them were hurt.
A young woman sitting in the front passenger seat of the car also escaped injury, Navarro-Suarez said.
Deputies seized the involved shotgun, she added.
Deputies were still looking into how the gun got there, and how the child got a hold of it.
But officials reminded the public that gun owners are required to store them securely and out of the reach of children or other unauthorized hands.
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind you that, ‘if it’s not secure, it’s not safe,” Navarro-Suarez said.