US

2 Wisconsin Brothers Charged in Shooting Death of Boy, 5

By The Associated Press

KENOSHA, Wis.—Two Wisconsin brothers were charged on June 20 in the shooting death of a 5-year-old boy who picked up a loaded handgun when one of the men left the weapon on a bed and went to light a marijuana cigarette, according to a criminal complaint.

Javonn and Jovonn Cannon, both 24 and from Kenosha, were charged Thursday in the death of Dakari Weldon.

Javonn Cannon, who is eight months younger than his brother, allegedly told authorities he left the pistol on a bed at Jovonn’s residence and went to smoke marijuana in another room Monday. He returned to see Dakari playing with the gun. He told Dakari to give it back, and tried to take the gun away when it discharged.

“He was in absolute shock when he heard the gun went off,” his defense attorney Denise Hertz-McGrath said. “He had no idea the gun was loaded.”

The Kenosha News reported that Javonn Cannon is charged with homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon and drug possession. Jovonn Cannon is charged with leaving a loaded firearm near a child, a misdemeanor. He bought the gun earlier this month and has a concealed carry permit for it.

“When the court read the criminal complaint, I assume it reads of heartbreak and stupidity for the two adults who have criminal liability in this case,” Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said.

After the shooting, the brothers rushed Dakari to a hospital, hitting multiple parked vehicles. Javonn carried Dakari inside, put him on a bed, and left as the brothers’ sister was arriving. The sister and two other children were in the house at the time of the shooting.

The brothers drove to a family member’s house and hid the weapon in a garage before deciding to call police. Authorities learned of the shooting from hospital staff.

Accidental Shootings

Far fewer Americans fall victim to firearm accidents than some two decades ago, even though people own more guns, according to new data.

Accidental firearm discharges killed 486 people in 2017, down more than 50 percent since 1997, according to mortality data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Decreased popularity of hunting, improved trauma care, and gun safety education campaigns have likely helped decreased the fatalities.