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‘It is not a toy’: Parents whose son was in home where 12-year-old Akron boy was shot while playing with gun speak out about firearm safety

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:40 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - An Akron mother is facing felony charges after her 12-year-old son was shot with a gun that he and a group of children were playing with.

According to Akron police, officers responded to a McKinley Avenue home for reports of a shooting at around 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

Amanda Bryant and Jonathan Eubanks just recently moved to the Akron neighborhood with their 10-year-old son. He was one of three kids inside the home when the shooting happened.

“My son decided to make friends with the boys across the street and they were jumping on the trampoline and, ‘Hey can we go inside and play Fortnite?’ And I said, ‘Yeah it’s getting a little dark though so make it quick.’”

Just a few minutes later, the parents heard a gunshot and rushed over to the home.

“My heart sank cause I heard a bang and my son was covered in blood,” recalled Bryant. “I wasn’t sure. It was really scary.”

Bryant rushed to call 911 and Eubanks turned his attention to the 12-year-old that had been shot in the arm and chest.

“I was in Boy Scouts and a few other things when I was growing up,” Eubanks said. “We learned a little bit of medical safety, a little bit of first aid, you know a little bit of trauma stuff. It happened to come in handy when he come flying out. I checked her boy to make sure he wasn’t hurt, the other kid seemed to be fine, the one that was squirting the blood caught my attention.”

Eubanks made a tourniquet and kept the boy alert until paramedics arrived. They took the child to Akron Children’s Hospital. His family told 19 News he came home on Wednesday and is doing okay.

“We’ve actually been praying for his family,” Eubanks said.

Over the course of the investigation, detectives learned that the boy was home alone with at least two other children when he got hold of the unsecured handgun. Akron police said, at one point, the kids were playing with or handling the gun and accidentally fired it, striking the 12-year-old boy. It is not clear if the boy accidentally shot himself or if another child accidentally shot him. Police charged the 12-year-old’s mother, 30-year-old Diane Carter with child endangering. She is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge at the Akron Municipal Court on June 14.

The 10-year-old’s family just wants to make sure this doesn’t happen again or to any other child.

“If you have made the adult decision to put a gun in your home then you need to make the adult decision to make everyone in the home aware that there is a dangerous thing in your home, that it cannot be dealt with like a toy,” said Bryant. “It is not a toy.”

The parents even went as far as banning Fortnite and other violent video games and TV shows.

“I understand that she didn’t mean for that to happen,” Bryant said. “Nobody ever means for that to happen but I’m so heartbroken. My son’s face was inches away from that. I could’ve lost my kid and it would’ve all been at the hands of somebody who wasn’t responsible enough to teach the children that there’s something dangerous in the house and you don’t need to be a part of that.”

Akron Police want to stress the importance of properly securing any firearm you have with a safe or a gun lock. Police will even give members of the community a gun lock for free if they can’t afford one.

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