84ºF

3-year-old boy finds gun in drawer, shoots self in head in Miami

Mother says boy climbed chair, found gun while looking for iPad

MIAMI – A 3-year-old boy opened a drawer, took out a gun and apparently shot himself in the head Tuesday morning, the boy's mother told Local 10 News.

Dorphise Jean said her son, Darnell Jean Jr., who is almost 4, was rummaging through a drawer looking for an iPad when she heard a loud bang. She said she grabbed Darnell and took him to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, driving so fast that she even crashed into another car.

"He was crying throughout the whole thing," Jean said, wearing a blood-stained shirt.

Jean said she and her husband both keep guns in their apartment for safety because of where they live in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood. She said they always keep the guns away from the boy, but he climbed a chair to get to the drawer, which doesn't have a lock on it.

"Don't bash us as parents, because we are good parents," Jean said. "Just pray for my son."

Miami police Sgt. Freddie Cruz said the incident appears to be a tragic accident. He said an investigation is ongoing.

A police officer walked out of the apartment Tuesday morning carrying the gun in an evidence bag.

Darnell underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition.

"I love you, Darnell," Jean said. "Please stay with me."

The Department of Children and Families is also investigating.

34526128

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

Follow Local10.com reporter Andrea Torres @MiamiCrime