ST. PAUL (WCCO) – Police say a 2-year-old St. Paul boy was shot in the head after one of the boy’s siblings found a handgun in an unlocked cabinet.
St. Paul Fire Medics were called around noon Thursday to the 1300 block of Beech Street on a call that a child had fallen. Officials later determined the child was shot.
Police say the toddler, identified as Jacob Xiong, was shot once in the head and taken to Regions Hospital. Relatives said he underwent successful surgery at Regions and was moved to Gillette Children’s Hospital.
Investigators say one of Xiong’s siblings found the gun in a cabinet and believed that it wasn’t loaded. The gun went off and a 9mm bullet struck Xiong in the head.
Police said Xiong was home with his three siblings — ages 7, 9 and 10 — as well as a 16-year-old relative who was babysitting when the shooting occurred.
“Basically this is just another lesson for people to lock up and secure your fire arms,” said Howie Padilla, St. Paul Police spokesman. “Make sure they’re out of the reach of children.”
Officers say they are not seeking any suspects in connection with the incident.
“What I can tell you is that investigators did recover multiple fire arms in the home,” Padilla said. “We’re not going to elaborate on the kinds, but there were several firearms in the home.”
The child’s grandfather emigrated from Laos after the Vietnam war, looking to start a new life, safe from war. Now he’s feeling the painful consequences of when guns fall into the wrong hands.
“I scared he die,” he said. “I love him.”