Father arrested after child accidentally shoots himself in head, deputies say

Published: Mar. 13, 2022 at 8:22 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2022 at 11:32 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office say they have made an arrest in connection with the accidental shooting of a child on Sunday, March 13.

The incident happened in the 8100 block of Skysail Avenue.

Authorities say the child, who got ahold of an unsecured gun and accidentally shot himself in his head, is stable.

The child’s father, Deetroy Watkins, 26, of Baton Rouge, was arrested late Sunday night on charges of negligent injuring and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities say Watkins told investigators a friend came to his home several days before and left a gun in his couch cushion.

Watkins was in a separate bedroom in the home with his fiancée at the time of the shooting when he heard a loud noise, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators say Watkins then rushed to the living room where he saw his child with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. He then contacted a neighbor who drove them to the hospital.

Watkins, who is a convicted felon, told investigators he did not have a holster or any other means of securing the weapon, deputies say.

“[Watkins] admitted that on the previous night, he was seated on the couch and felt the firearm inside the cushion near the armrest. [Watkins] did not move or secure the firearm in a safe manner even knowing his two juvenile children were often present around the residence, specifically the living room,” according to arrest records.

Deputies say Watkins was convicted of domestic abuse battery, child endangerment, and other charges in 2014 which would not allow him to have a firearm in his possession.

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