Millington children left alone in car in Wal-Mart parking lot - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Paranjape

Millington children left alone in car in Wal-Mart parking lot

Mark and Shelby Carter were about to walk into a Millington Wal-Mart when they noticed two young boys sitting alone inside a pick-up truck with the engine turned off in 27 degree temperatures.

"They were breathing on the window drawing on the window like most kids do and I'm like that's just crazy you don't leave two kids in the truck by themselves," Shelby Carter said.

The Carters immediately called police.
"Officers went out and checked the scene and found there was a 5 and a 6 year old that were left alone in the vehicle for over 20 minutes," Lt. Troy Walls of the Millington Polie Department said.

Lt. Walls said the boys father, Shawn Tanner, came out of the store, saw police, and became upset.

"His response was that there were cameras all over the parking lot. That somebody would be crazy to mess his children.  After looking at the cameras we found he parked where the cameras were not even looking at his vehicle," Walls said.

Police charged Tanner with felony child abuse/neglect. It carries a sentence of three to five years.

The law states if a child six and under is left alone inside a vehicle, then the person responsible is charged with a felony.

If the child is older than six, it is a misdemeanor.

Lt. Walls said the Carters did the right thing by calling police.

"When kids can't take care of themselves when they're that little somebody has to do it for them.  We'd do it anytime," Mark Carter said.

The two boys are currently staying with their grandmother here in Millington.

Tanner will have his first court date next Tuesday.

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