Father of 3 y/o Boy Who Shot Himself with Handgun... Arrested

13 WHAM - "Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies said the father of a three-year-old boy who shot himself in the chest with a handgun has been arrested.

Deputies said 42-year-old Matthew Howell was arrested Thursday and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said on December 31, 2017, the boy found a loaded .45-caliber handgun in the living room and shot himself at a home in Bennington. A 911 dispatcher sent an ambulance to the home in rural Wyoming County.

Deputies say the boy picked up the gun after his parents left the room momentarily, shooting himself in the area between the upper chest and shoulder. He was rushed to a hospital in Buffalo, where he made it through surgery.

The sheriff said late Tuesday that the child was doing much better and would likely be okay. 

"Although this was a terrible accident it was completely preventable," Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph said. "The loaded handgun was left unattended for minutes in the living room, but it was readily accessible to the child which was the most significant factor in determining the charge. No one wins in a case like this; it is heart wrenching to everyone involved."

Howell is scheduled to appear in court on January 29, 2018 at 6 p.m."


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