3-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots, Kills Mom: Police

Boy reportedly found gun under the couch
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2014 11:23 AM CST
3-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots, Kills Mom: Police
A 3-year-old accidentally shot his mother to death.   (Shutterstock)

A young Oklahoma mom is dead after her 3-year-old accidentally shot her, KJRH reports. Christa Engles, a 26-year-old from Tulsa, was believed to be changing her 1-year-old daughter's diaper in her living room when police say her preschool son wandered in with a semi-automatic handgun and shot her in the head. Engles was found by her mother-in-law, who lives in the house, when she arrived home late yesterday afternoon. Engles' husband, a truck driver who was on the road, arrived home yesterday evening after hearing about the shooting; he was only able to confirm his wife's death by repeatedly calling the hospital. "It was a horrible, horrible accident," homicide detective Dave Walker tells News on 6.

Police say that the boy tried to get out of the house before his grandmother got home and that the home seemed to be generally childproofed, making it unclear how the weapon fell into the boy's hands. However, Walker says, "There [were] several guns in the house," and a neighbor tells KJRH that Engles was in the Army and that the boy found the gun underneath a couch. The child appears to grasp what happened: According to KJRH, he said, "Mommy shot" over and over as he was loaded into a patrol car to be interviewed by child specialists. They had to question him as the only witness other than the baby to the shooting, News on 6 notes. (A 4-year-old accidentally shot his 3-year-old sister earlier this month.)

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