Police search for squatter after 10-year-old boy finds gun, shoo - KCTV5 News

Police search for squatter after 10-year-old boy finds gun, shoots himself in leg

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Police say the boy found the gun and accidentally shot himself in the leg. (KCTV5) Police say the boy found the gun and accidentally shot himself in the leg. (KCTV5)

Authorities in Kansas City are searching for a man who ran off with a gun after a 10-year-old boy accidentally shot himself early Friday morning.

It happened about 6:30 a.m. at a home in the 2300 block of Poplar Avenue.

Police say the boy and his parents arrived at a home they are remodeling but forgot their keys. They sent the boy through the home's doggie door in an effort to get the door unlocked so they could check on a caretaker there.

While inside, the boy saw a gun on the kitchen table, picked it up and accidentally shot himself in the leg.

A man, who police believe was squatting inside the house, confronted the boy, took the gun and ran away.

Police are searching for that man and say he has a tattoo on his face. The shooting is still being investigated.

The boy's parents say they did have a person staying on an upper floor of the house but say that person was asleep upstairs and did not hear anything because of a loud air conditioning unit.

"The caretaker didn't recognize who that might've been,” said Captain Ryan Mills with the Kansas City Police Department. “Nobody knows who he is or why he would've been in the house."

"There have been some complaints that there are individuals who come in the house randomly from time to time," Mills said.

The boy was taken to an area hospital and is expected to be okay.

Officers have not said who owns the gun.

Neither the boy's nor the person living in the home say they know who the man is.

Neighbors hope that the young boy will be alright, but say the thought of a random person inside someone's home is a little scary. They also say there are a lot of guns in the area.

Karena Guilez lives across the street from the house where the shooting happened. She said she's seen the young boy playing outside before. 

"As far as I know, I think they're from down the street on the corner,” Guilez said. “I mean, we passed by them. They're really nice kids. They're good kids. You don't really hear from them much."

"It's a good neighborhood, to me," she said. "Something like this doesn't happen every day."

However, she said she can't help but think about her and her children's safety after the shooting. 

"Iit's a little boy who got shot so it kind of makes me fear for my kids and the other rest of the kids around here," she said.

Gloria Haymes recently moved away from the area because of the large amounts of violence. She says she heard shots almost every day and that she wants to see more police to crackdown on the guns and the squatters.

“The only thing that I can think of to be done to stop all of this, is have more officers patrol this area and a few stops on the corners or something to keep an eye open,” Haymes said.

"A lot of people just going in these empty houses, just living, and it's crazy," said Sharunda Beavurg.

Polar Avenue was closed between 23rd and 24th Streets while police investigated the incident. It has reopened.

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