FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Both parents of a 9-year-old boy who shot himself with a handgun in a home earlier this year are now facing felony charges, according to Allen Superior Court records.
Allen County Prosecutors charged the boy’s mother, Shonese Prince-Little, with a Level 3 felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and two Level 6 felony counts of neglect of a dependent Thursday in connection to the January shooting.
Wednesday, prosecutors levied the same charges against the boy’s father, 29-year-old Dauris Anderson.
It was the second time one of the children belonging to Prince-Little and Anderson had been shot with a gun in their home since 2019, according to court documents.
In the January shooting, Prince-Little and Anderson were at the grocery store shopping while three of their children remained at home with an aunt and a grandparent.
Their 9-year-old son found a gun hidden underneath a couch, took it out to the garage and and began playing with it as he had done in the past, court documents said. He later told investigators he knew the gun was loaded, put his finger on the trigger, pulled it and shot himself, according to those court documents.
The round struck the boy in the chest and suffered a collapsed lung and multiple rib fractures. The bullet exited through the boy’s shoulder, and doctors had to perform surgery to drain his lung of blood, court documents said.
When the gun fired, the boy’s older brother – whose age was not given – heard the boom. He went out to the garage to find his brother on the ground with smoke coming from his body and blood on his chest and mouth, court documents said. That boy said the last time he saw that particular gun it was being stored atop a refrigerator.
During an interview with detectives, the boy who shot himself alerted investigators that there were other guns in the home, as well, and that they belonged to relatives.
When they searched the home, investigators found six handguns, one AK-47 style pistol, three rifles and 569 rounds of ammunition, court documents said.
During an initial conversation with Anderson and Prince-Little, police quoted Anderson in court documents as saying the children knew better and were not allowed to be in the garage because “that’s where the adults hang out.”
Anderson also claimed the gun belonged to Prince-Little, court documents said. He later recanted and said the guns in the home belonged to him. He told detectives he should be the one charged with neglect, according to court documents.
When a detective wanted to record that statement, Anderson requested an attorney.
In 2019, the couple’s eldest child – the one who found his 9-year-old brother shot in the garage – suffered a gunshot wound to the pinky of his left hand and had to be transported to an Indianapolis surgical unit to repair his wound, according to court documents.
Back then, the younger brother told investigators he saw Prince-Little put his father’s gun away in a box at the top of their closet in their room.
He said he and his brother got into a physical altercation, he got mad and climbed on top of a clothes basket to get the gun, according to court documents. The boy said he was really mad at his older brother and was going to shoot him for hitting him in the stomach during that incident.
In that investigation, Anderson told detectives he left the house and remembered leaving his gun on the counter in a bedroom and called Prince-Little to have her put it away. Prince-Little did not know her son was watching her, she said in court documents.
No charges were filed in that case.
Anderson has multiple arrests for carrying a handgun without a license in his past, according to court records, while Prince-Little only has a few traffic citations.
Arrest warrants for both have been issued, though it is not clear whether they’ve been booked into Allen County Lockup as of yet.