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Mother, friend arrested after 3-year-old shoots, kills self with unsecured AR-15 pistol

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 5:39 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two people were taken into custody after a 3-year-old boy shot and killed himself with an AR-15 pistol according to police.

One of those individuals is the boy’s mother, Tinesha Jackson, and the other is the accused gun owner, Tedrick Butler.

On Sunday, Jackson rushed her 3-year-old son to the hospital after Memphis police say he was shot in the head.

According to the affidavit, the child and his 4-year-old brother were under the care of their uncle when they discovered an unsecured AR-15 under a pile of clothing in Jackson’s room.

The uncle woke up when he heard a gunshot and found the boy on the floor. When Jackson, who was out getting food arrived home, the affidavit says she called Memphis police and took her son to the hospital where he later died.

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital reports they have treated 38 children with gunshot wounds this year, 13 of them during the month of March.

“We’ve had a staggering increase since the pandemic started and that increase has continued and we feel like, I hope it doesn’t happen, but I feel like it’s going to continue in 2022 because we’ve had a lot of injures in the first three months,” said Dr. Regan Williams, Trauma Medical Director at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Williams says they’ve treated 134 children in 2020 and last year 158.

“We know that about 30 - 40% of our injuries to children are from accidental injuries so these are children that are either shot by themselves, their family members or their friends generally within the home and that is related to a gun that is unsafely stored,” said Williams.

Police identified Tedrick Butler as the gun owner. He is facing several charges after investigators issued a search warrant for the home on Tonawanda Cove in Whitehaven.

Investigators found numerous weapons including AR-style pistols and a Glock 9mm pistol illegally converted to fully automatic behind the home.

While in custody, Butler admitted to leaving the AR-15 pistol in Jackson’s bedroom, he also admitted to removing the weapons from the bedroom prior to the search.

Jackson and Butler are being tried separately, their first court hearing regarding this incident was Monday morning.

Jackson is facing criminally negligent homicide charges, she has been released on “own recognizance” her next court hearing is on April 11th.

Butler is charged with criminally negligent homicide, prohibited weapons, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, tampering with evidence or fabricating evidence and possession of a controlled substance.

A $200,000 bond has been set for Butler. His next hearing is on April 6.

Memphis police would like everyone to know they offer free gun locks at every Memphis police precinct.

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