Handgun accident leaves child shot

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Staff Reporter

RESERVE – A 2-year-old Reserve boy underwent emergency surgery and is in stable condition, after he shot himself in the face with a .25-caliber handgun Tuesday morning at 10:45.

After operating on the child at River Parishes Hospital in LaPlace, physicians told Public Information Officer Maj. Michael Tregre, with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, that there was no evidence of brain damage, and the toddler is not paralyzed.

Tregre said the boy found the handgun hidden in a record crate that was filled with records. Tucked inside a closet, an old phonograph sat on top of the crate.

“The child put his little hand in the crate and rummaged around until he found the gun,” said Tregre.

Pulling the gun out of the box, Tregre said the boy pointed the gun at his face and pulled the trigger with his thumb.

“He was shot between his nose and his upper lip,” said Tregre. “The bullet entered through the bottom of the skull and exited through the spine’s third and fourth vertebrae, fracturing the fourth vertebrae.”

Tregre said after surgery, the boy was transferred to Charity Hospital in New Orleans. He remains in stable condition.

According to Tregre, the lad lives with his grandmother in Reserve.

However, Tuesday morning the toddler’s mother, Aleisha Johnson, picked her son up and brought him to the mobile home she shares with her 21-year-old boyfriend,

Leejardain Hart. The trailer is located at 109 Beech Grove Drive.

Leaving the toddler alone in the living room, Johnson went with Hart into a bathroom located at the rear of the trailer.

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Hearing a gunshot, the couple went into the living room, where they found the toddler drenched in blood.

Placing the boy in their vehicle, they drove the child to the hospital.

The sheriff’s office has not filed any charges against Johnson or Hart in the shooting.

However, while investigating the incident, Tregre said authorities found marijuana in the same room as the record crate.

Tregre said the marijuana was in plain view.

Hart was charged with distribution and manufacturing of marijuana.