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Doctors address alarming trend in accidental shootings after 14-year-old killed in Edinburgh

Abney described her son as a kid who loved to laugh, smile, and play video games.
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Posted at 5:48 PM, May 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-02 16:39:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A growing and concerning trend across Indiana shows more children are being shot, according to doctors.

Doctors at Riley Hospital for children say they are seeing an, "unfortunate steady stream of children and adolescents who are shot."

This comes just days after Jonathon Elliot, 14, was shot and killed in Edinburgh.

His mother, Christina Abney, tells WRTV she's still in disbelief.

"Ever since Jon was little, he loved everybody," Abney said. "He had his moments, but he loved everybody."

Abney described her son as a kid who loved to laugh, smile, and play video games.

Edinburgh police say they were called to a home off S. Pleasant Street where they found Elliot inside with a gunshot wound in the chest. He later died at Riley Hospital for Children.

"It's not a gun problem, it's a people problem," Edinburgh Police Chief Doyne Little said.

Riley's numbers paint a bigger picture of the gun violence impacting Indiana's youth. So far in 2023 there have been 13 kids treated at Riley for gunshot wounds.

Riley shared the following break-down of accidental and violent gunshot wounds they've treated since 2018:

  • 2023, (as of 4/30/23) 13 total, 6 unintentional, 7 violent
  • 2022, 41 total, 9 unintentional, 32 violent
  • 2021, 55 total, 17 unintentional, 38 violent
  • 2020, 44 total, 17 unintentional, 27 violent
  • 2019, 37 total, 5 unintentional, 32 violent
  • 2018, 29 total, 21 unintentional, 8 violent

Abney says she and her family are still trying to put the pieces together and move forward after their devastating loss. She says it was an accident that never should have happened.
“If he wouldn’t have had that gun my son would still be here," Abney said. "He would still be alive. Jonathan didn’t deserve it."

Riley Hospital for Children says community members are able to receive free gun locks from the Indiana University School of Medicine Safety Store. The Safety Store is located within the Riley Hospital for Children Outpatient Center.

Each family can receive two free gun locks (per year). The gun locks are provided in partnership with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and fit most guns.

Community members can come inside and ask for the gun locks or there is a curbside pick-up option.

You can find all that information and more at this link.