2-year-old Fayette County boy shoots self in 'tragic accident'
Richard Harris said he was angry when he found out his 2-year-old son got a gun from his mother's purse and shot himself in the face on Thursday night.
“Who leaves loaded guns around with 2- or 3-year-old kids?” Harris, 25, of Centerville, Washington County, said on Friday afternoon. “I have guns in my house, but they're locked up.”
State police said Owen Harris shot himself in the face with his stepfather's gun around 8:50 p.m. at his home along Second Street in Isabella, Luzerne Township.
Trooper Stefani Plume said Owen somehow got the gun, which was in his mother's purse, and shot himself.
His mother and stepfather were home at the time, Plume said.
Owen was taken first to Uniontown Hospital and then flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where he was in critical but stable condition Friday.
Plume said no charges have been filed in the case.
“It appears as though the incident was just a tragic accident,” Plume said in a news release.
Fayette County District Attorney Jack Heneks said the incident remains under investigation.
Richard Harris said he has “a thousand questions” about the shooting. He said his ex-girlfriend told him she and her husband were asleep when Owen woke up and got the gun.
“I'm sure she's just as devastated,” he said of Owen's mother.
Richard Harris said Owen and his 3-year-old daughter, Jalynn, live with his ex-girlfriend, Donna Christopher, and her husband, Donald.
Attempts to reach the Christophers Friday were unsuccessful.
Donald Christopher asked for prayers on Facebook yesterday.
“Please everyone please pray for our lil man owen we love u so much buddy u mean the world to us,” he wrote.
And though he's looking for answers, what Richard Harris wants is to see his son smile again.
Richard Harris said his son is in intensive care and has been sedated.
“They're saying it's still up in the air,” Harris said of Owen's condition. “He has a long road ahead of him. But I guess he's doing all right for what happened to him. There's no sugarcoating it. He's definitely hurt badly.”
Richard Harris, his grandfather Phillip Gill, 70, and other family members rushed to Children's Thursday night.
Gill said doctors are monitoring brain swelling in Owen, who shot himself in the face between his nose and mouth.
Gill said his great-grandson is a typical 2-year-old boy who likes to romp around and play.
“He's always having fun, him and his sister, and he's always happy,” Gill said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Pirates gaining bad big-game rep
- Senior laden Robert Morris men’s hockey team hopes to erase last season’s disappointment
- Pitt O-line responds to coach’s challenge
- Steelers quarterback Vick getting more acquainted with offense
- Energy efficiency goes mainstream with help of regulations, demand
- Steelers hoping to establish run early against San Diego
- Pirates notebook: Fastball command issues hurt Cole against Cubs
- Penn State coaches are happy with quarterback Hackenberg’s play
- Environmental watchdog sues world’s largest steelmaker over Pennsylvania pollution
- New-look Steelers secondary is gaining some cohesion
- Feds tapped top Pa. Treasury official’s phone during McCord probe