Toddler dies after picking up loaded gun in living room; ‘mom’ knew the weapon was in reach

A two-year-old boy in South Carolina has died of a gunshot wound after picking up an unsecured weapon in his living room.

CBS News reports that the toddler, identified as Jacarion “Cari” Gladden, accidentally shot and killed himself earlier this week when he picked up the gun, belonging to his mother’s boyfriend. His mother and the boyfriend were both home at the time, and the mother reportedly knew her boyfriend kept the loaded gun in the living room.

Both the mother, Toni Gladden, 26, and her 18-year-old boyfriend have been charged in connection with the death.

Lancaster Police Chief Scott Grant told  WLTX that the boy died as a result of “extreme negligence on behalf of those who should have been his most ardent protectors.”


The suspects were reportedly less than forthcoming about the circumstances of the shooting death in the immediate aftermath. Eventually police learned that the adults were at the home but in another room when they heard a gunshot. They rushed to bring the boy to the hospital and crashed their car along the way.

Grant told the news station that police were able to get a true sense of what happened only after “a full night of lies and avoidance.”

Hayes is currently on probation for a 2016 burglary and weapons convicted.


Feature photo: WLTX screenshot