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Fatal Self-Inflicted Shooting of Two-Year-Old in Euclid Highlights Importance of Secure Firearm Storage

May 8, 2024

EUCLID, OH — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action, released the following statement in response to the fatal self-inflicted shooting of two-year-old toddler in Euclid. According to police reports, the child found the weapon inside the home and shot the gun, tragically striking himself. Euclid Police said the investigation is ongoing and no one has been charged. This is the second death of a young child in the last month in Ohio. On April 12th, a three-year-old in Cleveland was shot and killed in an unintentional shooting in the child’s garage. According to a neighbor, a gun fell off a workbench in the garage, and the child was shot in the chest. The shooting in Euclid would be at least the 6th unintentional shooting by a child in Ohio so far in 2024. 

“We are heartbroken by the news of the stolen lives of these babies from shootings that could have been prevented,” said Gail Hamer, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and volunteer leader with the Be SMART program in Ohio. “Over the last decade, our state has seen over 200 unintentional shootings by children – the third highest number of incidents across the country. Every incident is one too many. We need to keep our children safe by keeping guns out of their reach. The solution is easy: store your guns securely.”

In Ohio, there were 203 unintentional shootings by children from 2015-2023. Ohio has some of the weakest firearm laws in the country, scoring only 13 out of 100 for gun law strength, lacking any kind of law requiring gun owners to securely store their firearms when not in use. Despite the state’s gun homicide rate increasing over the past decade, higher than the nationwide increase, the state recently passed a dangerous Shoot First law, encouraging violence and vigilantism in public—and eliminated the requirement that a person get a permit and safety training before carrying a concealed gun in public. Ohio also recently passed a dangerous law which allows K–12 schools to arm teachers. 

Roughly once every day in the United States, a child under the age of 18 gains access to a loaded gun and unintentionally shoots themself or someone else. Everytown’s #NotAnAccident Index is a unique database that has tracked more than 3,200 of these shootings by children from 2015 to 2023, resulting in more than 1,200 people killed and more than 2,000 people wounded. 

Research shows the most effective way to prevent an unintentional shooting is to make sure firearms are stored as securely as possible. That means unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition. Firearms are not stored securely when they’re placed in an unlocked dresser or nightstand drawer, under a couch cushion, mattress, or pillow, in an unlocked closet, on a high shelf or on top of the refrigerator. 

Be SMART, a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, helps parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries, youth suicide, and gunfire on school grounds. 

The program encourages parents and adults to: 

  • Secure all guns in their home and vehicles
  • Model responsible behavior around guns
  • Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
  • Recognize the role of guns in suicide
  • Tell your peers to be SMART

Gun owners must store all of their guns securely at all times; parents need to ask about guns and gun storage at any home their children will be visiting; schools, the medical community, gun shops and gun storage device sellers, and others play a vital role in educating the community about secure gun storage; and community members need to support laws that research has shown are effective in holding adults accountable for failing to store their firearms securely. Read more on solutions to this devastating trend here. For more information on secure firearm storage and the most effective ways to protect children from unsecured firearms, visit

In an average year, 1,728 people die and 3,526 people are wounded by guns in Ohio. Gun violence costs Ohio $22.3 billion each year, of which $493.7 million is paid by taxpayers. Learn more about gun violence in Ohio here.  

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