Accidental Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound Kills 3-Year-Old Boy in Waukegan, Illinois

Waukegan police responded about 3:00 a.m. Thursday to a home in the block of 1100 Greenfield Avenue after a 3-year-old suffered a gunshot in the head. The young male patient, identified as Jeremiah Banks, was transported by Waukegan firefighter/paramedics to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives early Thursday morning said they believed the shooting was an accident. Later Thursday Waukegan police reported the toddler found his father’s handgun on a dresser in his parents’ bedroom when he woke up in the middle of the night

The Waukegan Police Department’s Major Evidence Crime Unit and Criminal Investigations Division are investigating the case.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is also investigating the incident. DCFS had no prior contact with the family.

A 9mm semi-automatic Diamondback handgun was brought into the living room of the home where the accidentally shot to the head occurred.

The boy’s father had a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, police said. A rifle, was also found in the home and taken into police custody. Waukegan detectives will meet with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, who are reviewing the case to rule out any necessary charges. The mother and father — whose names were not released — were not taken into police custody.

The 911 call was placed by the child’s mother, while the father held the boy in his arms.

The Lake County Coroner’s autopsy concluded Jeremiah Banks died from a single gunshot to the head.

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