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4-Year-Old Boy Kills Himself With Gun He Found in Dollhouse | It Was Kept There by His Mother’s Boyfriend
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4-Year-Old Boy Kills Himself With Gun He Found in Dollhouse | It Was Kept There by His Mother’s Boyfriend

The boy's mother's boyfriend, Joseph Jackson, reportedly told police that he always kept the gun on the dollhouse without the holster.

Cover Image Source: GoFundMe

Trigger Warning: This article contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing

In a horrible tragedy, a 4-year-old boy in Muncie, Indiana, fatally shot himself in front of his 2-year-old sister after discovering his mother's boyfriend's gun in their dollhouse. The boy, J'Den Watson, died in a nearby hospital. The boy's mother, Alicia Smith, 22, and her 19-year-old boyfriend Jackson were present at the home during the incident. Jackson claimed he kept his 9mm Glock 19 unholstered in the dollhouse on the second floor, reported PEOPLE.



 



He was on another floor when he heard a "pop" followed by the sound of his girlfriend screaming. When he went upstairs to check on the child, he discovered that he was bleeding from the face. Alicia Smith, Jackson's girlfriend was the mother of J'Den and a 2-year-old daughter. Jackson said that he assisted Smith in caring for her children every day and that he had been living with Smith for a month. 

As per the outlet, Jackson told police that J'Den liked to climb on objects around the house, such as the dollhouse, and that he saw the gun through its windows, which was within reach. Smith told police that she heard the gunshot while in the same room as her children. When she turned around, J'Den was said to have fired the gun and fallen in front of her and her daughter. She also stated that she was aware Jackson owned a gun and had left it on the dollhouse "at least ten times." Despite their disagreement over where Jackson kept the gun, Smith told police that he had "previously left the gun in areas where her children could access it." 



 


According to court documents, police wrote that neither Jackson nor Smith had taken "any precautionary measures to secure the firearm from the children," as per Fox 59 People reported. Both were accused of being neglectful resulting in the death of the child. It's uncertain whether they've entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on their behalf. Jammie Watson, J'Den's father, who had not been present in his child's life due to his battle with addiction, said he was there more towards the end, having just celebrated J'Den's birthday on Nov. 1, according to WTHR. Watson described him as "caring, fun, gentle, liked to play, and loved being around other kids."

The little boy's grandmother has expressed her disappointment and anger in both guardians. Marcella Taylor (grandmother) said "We're furious that they didn't take the time to walk down the stairs and put the gun in a gun safe. Instead, they put it in a dollhouse, which I don't understand "According to the outlet, she stated. "I'm furious, I'm furious, but my heart goes out to [Smith] because I know what a wonderful mother she was." Watson said of J'Den's funeral on Friday, "I'm at a loss for how to deal with it. I'm not even sure I've fully accepted it." A GoFundMe Campaign has been started to help with the funeral.
 
References:

https://people.com/crime/boy-4-allegedly-shoots-himself-with-moms-boyfriends-gun/

https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/father-of-child-killed-muncie-indiana-sons-impact/531-d40fb9a4-003d-41ee-82a2-3bee3cad7307
https://www.gofundme.com/f/jden-watson?member=23281491

Cover Image Source: GoFundMe