Mother charged in toddler's shooting death

Posted at 3:30 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 23:47:54-04

An Indianapolis mother faces felony neglect charges for allegedly leaving a loaded handgun where her 2-year-old son could reach it – ultimately resulting in his death.

Kanisha Shelton, 23, told police she left her 2-year-old son alone downstairs in their home while she went to check on her infant daughter.

While she was upstairs, Shelton told police she heard a loud "boom."

She rushed downstairs to find her son lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the chest.

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Efforts by Shelton to perform CPR, and subsequent emergency treatment at a hospital, weren't enough to resuscitate the toddler, who died of his injuries.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Shelton told police she had left her purse on the counter where her son could reach it. Shelton said she had a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun in her purse, but didn't think her son knew about it.

Shelton also reportedly told police she had been going to Don's Guns, where they told her to keep the gun loaded with a bullet in the chamber.

Shelton was charged Wednesday with neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office also had pending cases against Nicholas Gulling and Sandra Tomich for the December 2013 shooting death of their 3-year-old son. The child is believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after reaching a loaded handgun on the kitchen counter of their home.

Gulling has agreed to plead guilty to neglect of a dependent.