BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Investigators with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office say they have arrested a man after the child he was watching shot himself while left briefly unattended Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Deputies say they arrived at the scene around 5:05 p.m. to find Jacoby Joseph, 26, rendering aid to a gunshot wound to a 3-year-old toddler on the front lawn of a home in the 5600 block of Kilona Drive.
The child was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to investigators.
According to arrest records, Joseph told deputies he had driven himself and the child to the home and got out of the vehicle leaving the child alone inside the vehicle for about ten seconds.
Joseph said after about ten seconds, he heard the sound of a gunshot and immediately returned to the vehicle and discovered the child had been shot, deputies say.
“It is very fortunate that this child was not killed or further injured,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “Properly securing and storing your firearms must be a top priority at all times.”
Investigators say Joseph removed the child from the vehicle, placed him on the ground, and applied pressure to the gunshot wound until emergency personnel arrived.
According to arrest records, Joseph told deputies his friend had left an assault-style rifle in the back of the vehicle the night before (Tuesday, Nov. 3). Deputies say Joseph told them he saw the weapon inside the vehicle earlier on the morning of Nov. 4, but forgot it was inside the vehicle.
Joseph was arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on the charge of second-degree cruelty to juveniles.
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