Man Charged For Death Of 3-Year-Old Who Accidentally Shot Himself

(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Patrick Hauf Contributor
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Local authorities in Illinois have charged a man in relation to the gun-related death of a 3-year-old boy, according to a report. 

Winnebago County State’s Attorney and the Rockford Police Department announced the findings of its investigations into the October death, which found that the child accidentally shot himself with a gun, 13WREX reported. The child was taken to the hospital after being shot, where he later died. Winnebago County State’s Attorney Hite Ross stressed the importance of responsible gun ownership in response to the findings. (RELATED: 8-Year-Old Girl Shot While Doing Homework Dies In Hospital)

“Gun safety around children is imperative to preventing accidental injury or death of a child,” Ross said. “Responsible gun ownership saves lives.” 

The attorney’s office charged Octtayges Shanklin for a number of crimes in relation to the death, 13WREX reported. The charges include one count of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon, two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon, one count of possession of a firearm without a FOID card, and one count of endangering the life of a child/death. (RELATED: Man Charged With Two Felonies For Giving 17-Year-Old Kenosha Gunman Weapon Used In Fatal Shootings)

There have been more than 200 accidental shootings by children in 2020, resulting in 92 deaths and 135 injuries, according to Aftermath Services. These accidental shootings have increased amid COVID-19 lockdowns, Aftermath also found, with deadly unintentional shootings spiking 43 percent in March and April this year compared to the same months in the previous two years.