Boy, 4, dies of gunshot wound while adults smoked marijuana in front seat of vehicle in Louisiana

Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 8:20 AM PST
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WESTWEGO, La. (WVUE/Gray News) - A 4-year-old boy was fatally shot inside a vehicle as adults smoked marijuana in the front seat, Louisiana authorities said.

WVUE reports the shooting occurred Saturday night inside a vehicle parked in Westwego, a community south of New Orleans, said Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jason Rivarde.

Investigators said two adults were smoking marijuana in the front seat, while the 4-year-old, identified as Jarion Walker, and a 22-month-old were in the back seat.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto said he believes the gun was under a seat when the 4-year-old found it.

“The child was injured not by a hostile act, but by a negligent one,” Rivarde said. “As the adults were smoking marijuana in the front seat, a shot was fired inside the vehicle that struck the victim, causing the fatal injury.”

The boy was taken to a hospital after deputies were called to the scene, but he succumbed to his injury at the hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

Following an autopsy, officials were able to determine the gunshot wound to the head was self-inflicted.

Officials announced they will not be charging the adults.

The sheriff’s office said it would provide free gun locks to people in the community in an effort to increase gun safety measures.

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