IMPD stressing gun safety, education after 9-year-old accidentally killed

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IMPD stressed gun safety Tuesday after a child was killed a day earlier on the north side. Police believe the shooting happened when another child got a hold of an unsecured weapon.

Authorities said 9-year-old Mykah Jackson died Monday night after he and a friend were playing with a gun that accidentally fired.

IMPD was called to an apartment in the 7100 block of Warrior Trail around 9:45 p.m. Monday.

No arrests have been made in the case, but the investigation is ongoing. In the wake of Monday night’s shooting IMPD returned to the scene Tuesday to hand out free gun safety locks.

IMPD wants to jump-start the conversation for gun owners and people who are not gun owners about firearm safety. Even if you don’t have a weapon in your home, IMPD said 50 percent of U.S. homes have one so there’s always the chance you’ll need to know what to do.

Teddy bears were lined by a row of apartments to honor Jackson. IMPD said that gun should never have been within the child’s reach and without any sort of safety lock.

“Any accidental firearm death could be prevented,” said Deputy Chief Chad Knecht.

So IMPD took action Tuesday, returning to The Flats at Meridian Hills Apartment complex and going door-to-door to educate about gun safety and storage. It was an opportunity to learn for all adults and children because IMPD and neighbors say enough is enough.

“Even if you don’t own firearms yourself, your child is going to at some point be in a home with firearms. So you have to have a discussion with them,” said Knecht.

IMPD provided extra gun safety locks that they gave out for free and encouraged parents to talk to their kids about what to do if they see a firearm.

Stephanie Thomas plans on talking to her 10 grandchildren.

“I think they understand, I really do. If not I’m going to help them learn,” Thomas said.

Other kids have heard IMPD’s advice loud and clear.

“Never use a gun, stay away from it and if you do see a gun, stay in contact with a parent,” said Daniel Perez, a 13-year-old who lives in the apartment complex.

Any knock, any plea could save a life. But will it?

“Pray, pray, pray that’s all we can do,” said Thomas. “And just hope that it clicks up there with these kids.”

Over the weekend a 15-year-old allegedly accidentally shot another teen in the leg at the Marion County Fair.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence indicates there are 11 states that require gun dealers to sell a lock on certain guns. Indiana is not a part of that list.

WISH-TV asked Deputy Chief Knecht if the department would like to see lawmakers consider a law change. He told us that’s a political question and that they worry about enforcing the existing laws.

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