Toddler shot, killed in Independence - KCTV5 News


Toddler, 3, died while playing with gun, family says

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The family of a 3-year-old boy who died Saturday says he shot himself with a gun he found in the home.

Independence police declined to say what killed Joshua Andrew Turner, known as J.J.

His family told KCTV5's reporting partner, The Kansas City Star, that the boy found the gun moments after his mother, Dawn Turner, went into another room. The boy died in his father's arms.

The sounds of children playing normally fills the Independence neighborhood near 20th Street and Scott Avenue, but Saturday night there was one voice missing.

"When you hear a scream, blood-curdling like that, you know that something is wrong," neighbor Sierra Battles said.

A scream from the toddler's house was the first indication neighbors had of the tragedy playing out in the neighborhood.  Police responded to a 911 call about 3:30 p.m. in the 11500 block of East 20th Street. The toddler was dead from a gunshot wound when police arrived.

The family is still planning funeral arrangements.  Independence police are expected to release more information about the shooting Monday.

Capt. Ed Turner with the Independence Police Department said family members were cooperating with the shooting investigation. 

"They did seem like really good parents, and if it was one of the parents, it would definitely, definitely take me by shock," Battles said.

Turner said police are talking to everyone that was at the house at the time of the shooting.

"I know that when I've gone over there and hung out.  They've brought out their guns and showed me," family friend Jeannel Anderson said.

Friends of the family say they can't imagine either of the parents intentionally hurting their kids.

"Oh, absolutely not, absolutely not, but the first thing I thought was, 'Why would they have a gun around a 3-year-old?'," family friend Julie Wilson said.

But the friends say, no question, the parents here loved their children.

"Young couple struggling to make their way, two beautiful little children,"  Wilson said.

The younger boy, friends say, just about 2 years old, is now an only child.

"I feel sorry for, especially the little brother, his big brother is gone now," Anderson said.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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