MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A tragic incident took place Wednesday night showcasing just how dangerous it is to have weapons near children.
Wednesday just before 9 p.m., Memphis police were called to a shooting in the 4000 block of Harvest Hill Road.
When officers arrived, 31-year-old Jerome Smith was found lying in a car with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
An affidavit reveals there were four people in the car, including a 3-year-old girl.
26-year-old Allante Jones who was also in the car told investigators he was carrying a gun when Smith picked him up to take him home.
According to the affidavit, Jones sat next to Smith’s 3-year-old daughter, put the gun down and that’s when he says the child started playing with the weapon, fired it, and shot her father in the head causing him to die.
Jones is now charged with reckless homicide and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Dr. Justin Dodson with Youth Villages says the impact of this incident can have lifelong effects on the little girl.
“They can experience negative or short-term psychological effects including, memory loss, anger, and withdrawal, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder,” Dodson said.
Dodson also says certain noises, even smells can bring back memories for the child.
Dodson says the girl also has another uphill battle ahead.
“So research actually shows us that exposure to violence can cause more thoughts and memories of that event as well as a history of violence in the future,” Dodson said.
Police Director Mike Rallings has been vocal in the past about children being exposed to violence.
Rallings was not available to comment on this incident, but for anyone who needs a gun lock, they are free at any Memphis Police precinct.