HOUSTON: The parents of a three-year-old boy, who while playing with a handgun accidentally shot them both in a hotel room in New Mexico, have been charged with child abuse. The boy removed a handgun from his mother's purse and fired one shot, striking his father in the lower backside in a hotel room in Albuquerque.
The bullet apparently exited through the father's hip and hit the mother, who was eight months pregnant, in the right shoulder.
The shooting happened last Saturday and both parents were arrested on Thursday on a charge of child abuse without great bodily harm, according to a state criminal complaint.
The boy and his 2-year-old sister, who also was in the room, were not injured in the incident.
In the complaint, police say the children, who have not been identified by name, were in the motel room with their parents.
The boy jumped up and managed to grab his mother's handbag from on top of a small refrigerator, about 3 feet high. Inside the purse, he discovered a loaded .45-caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic firearm, which had been purchased earlier that day.
The toddler fired a single shot, striking both adults, according to the criminal complaint.
The father then reportedly "immediately disarmed" the child and placed the gun back inside his mother's purse and on top of the refrigerator.
Both parents were treated and released from a local hospital.
"It should be noted that (the father) was with (the mother) on this date when she purchased the firearm and ammunition," the criminal complaint said. "(The father) knew the firearm was inside (the mother's) purse."
The complaint goes on to say that the parents "acted with a reckless disregard for the safety and or health" of their children.
Both parents were being held at the Bernalillo County Metro Detention Center, according to authorities, with bond set at USD 15,000 each.