PEORIA, Ariz. – Authorities have released a recording of the frantic 911 call after a two-year-old stumbled upon his father's loaded gun and shot himself inside a home in Arizona last Thursday.
KNXV reports that the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. at a home near 83rd Avenue and Cactus Road.
Peoria police said that the boy was playing on the bed with his grandmother when he found a gun rolled up in the bed sheets and pulled the trigger.
A recording of the 911 call captures the urgency of the situation.
Caller: “My baby nephew got shot in the face with a gun.”
Dispatcher: “Who did it?”
Caller: “He did it. The baby went in the bedroom.”
Dispatcher: “The child got the gun himself?”
Caller: “Yes ma'am!”
Police said the child, who is recovering at an area hospital, was struck in the check before the bullet exited his head.
As a result, doctors have removed a portion of the boy's skull to ease swelling. Police said it will be about a week before doctors can give an update on his prognosis.
The boy’s shooting triggers some disturbing memories for Michael Lesnick. His three-year-old son, Joshua, found a gun that was loaded and unlocked in a box inside a dresser drawer.
“I've been a firearms instructor so not only do I know better, I've told people not to do that,” Lesnick said.
Joshua pulled the trigger and killed himself.
“People have told me it's not my fault, it's a terrible tragedy [and] it was an accident,” he said. “It was my gun, I loaded it, I put it there, I knew better.”
Lesnick was charged and served his probation. Now eight years later, he still carries a life sentence.
“Not a day doesn't go by that I don't think about him,” said Lesnick. “I have to look at my son's killer in the mirror every day.”
Lesnick, now an advocate for gun safety, shares his story in hopes that it will spare another child and their parents.
“If you've got a gun in the house, it needs to be locked up if it's not under your direct control,” Lesnick said.
He wants other parents to remember his son's face.
“I will speak as often and for as long as anybody will listen to keep guns secure,” he said.