MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Police say a 4-year-old boy, Joshua Johnson, accidentally shot himself while playing with a gun. His mother is in police custody. No word if she will face any charges. Police are not releasing details about how the child got his hands on a gun, but parents in the neighborhood say there is no reason for him to be dead.
"I would be so destroyed, that would ruin my life,” said a neighbor Adrienne Davis.
Police say Joshua Johnson was playing with a gun inside his family's apartment when it went off. Officers arrived around 1:30 Monday afternoon in the 3900 block of Camelot Lane in the area of Parkway Village. The boy was pronounced dead on the scene. Neighbors blame the mother for not locking up the gun.
"That's just crazy, irresponsible. Somebody didn't do something right,” said a father and neighbor, Tristan Newble.
Others say a gun should never be inside a home where children live.
"They play with guns and they're going to find things. I don't care how far up you put them or how far back you put them they're going to find them. I just hate to hear that,” said Davis, a parent and grandparent.
Neighbors say the 4-year-old boy would always come out and play with the neighborhood kids, but now he's gone.
"He was a good kid, he liked to play a lot,” said another neighbor Carolyn Maris.
Maris couldn't believe her little friend was gone. She says Johnson would always play with her dog, Cody.
"I'm going to miss him. He would always wave at me like this. I'm going to miss that,” said Maris.
Less than a half hour before forensics took the body out, police escorted the mother to a squad car. She covered her face and held her head down. Parents could only imagine this mother's pain.
"I know she's probably devastated and crying and hurt,” said a parent and neighbor Darlene Collins.
Police say the mother has another child but the little girl was at school when the shooting took place. Police later stated the mother had fallen asleep when the shooting occurred. So far no charges have been filed.