The latest tragedy involves Michael Easter, a four-year-old Michigan boy who shot and killed himself with a privately owned weapon. His father, Mark Easter is a Michigan Sheriff's deputy and was not at home when the shooting occurred on Saturday. According to a Mar. 4 MSN article, authorities are waiting to confirm that the gun is registered to the father. The gun was not his service weapon. The father, Mark Easter, was not at home at the time and his wife called him with the news. The boy was believed to have been playing with the weapon before it went off. The child died at a local hospital.
A week earlier, a Houston boy, also four years old shot himself with a stolen .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol. A Feb. 24 MSN article said his father, Marquiez Deshon Pratt, 21, was arrested for drug possession with intent to sell, for illegal weapon possession and injury to a child by omission. Jaiden Pratt was pronounced dead at a local hospital after his father carried him outside and cried for help.
The Washington State Department of Health and Human Services recommends keeping guns in safes, using trigger locks, storing ammunition in a separate location and paying attention to gun safety in other homes where the children may visit.