Archive for Friday, September 22, 2017

Police investigating shooting death of 1-year-old girl in northern Lawrence as ‘accidental’

Lawrence police investigate a shooting in the 600 block of North Michigan Street, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.

Lawrence police investigate a shooting in the 600 block of North Michigan Street, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.

September 22, 2017, 10:55 a.m. Updated September 22, 2017, 5:04 p.m.


A 1-year-old girl was killed in what is believed to be an accidental shooting Friday morning in Lawrence, police say.

The shooting was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. at a home in the 600 block of North Michigan Street.

First responders attempted life-saving measures, but the child was unable to be revived and was declared dead at the scene, Lawrence police Sgt. Amy Rhoads said, in a news release.

Police are investigating the incident as an accidental shooting, based on witness statements and evidence at the scene, Rhoads said.

Once police complete their investigation, the department will forward reports to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office for review, she said.

Rhoads said late Friday that the police department’s investigation was ongoing and that the department would not release the child’s name at this time.

“This investigation has been incredibly difficult for everyone involved, but most importantly the family of the child,” Rhoads said. “We ask for everyone to please respect the privacy of the family as they grieve their horrific loss.”

More than a dozen police and emergency vehicles responded to the neighborhood Friday morning.

Investigators remained at the scene through the afternoon, Rhoads said.


Charles Jones 4 months ago

Guns. People who carry them feel so tough and cool. Why act like a grownup human being, when you can just shoot somebody? Oi!

Bob Smith 4 months ago

The stereotyping is strong with this one.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

Quit being an apologist for whoever did this shooting or whoever allowed a gun anywhere near a 1 year old.

Monty Scott 4 months ago

There he goes off half cocked again.

David Holroyd 4 months ago

So when is the new Police Chief to bring big city policing to Lawrence, KS?

gotta stop these shootings and killings and assaults around the 1300 block of Ohio

waiting for Louisville action!

Francis Hunt 4 months ago

Don't put too much into "Louisville action." Louisville had 54 homicides in 2014, 84 in 2015, 118 in 2016. They've had 83 homicides so far in 2017 putting them on track to set a record. Their homicides more than doubled between 2014 and 2016! On a local level how exactly do the police prevent a shooting in a private home?

Josh Berg 4 months ago

I sure hope our police force are collecting data to look for patterns in all this violent crime happening this year.

Greg Cooper 4 months ago

No, Josh, they're sitting on their butts collecting all that unwarranted high pay they get for doing nothing, just to satisfy those like you who don't think they do anything proactive.

Daniel Kennamore 4 months ago

Clearly if the 1 year old had been armed as well this wouldn't have happened.

Francis Hunt 4 months ago

Really poor taste Daniel Kennamore. A one year old child is dead, I find your comment inappropriate. My prayers are with everyone involved.

Daniel Kennamore 4 months ago

You are misreading my point if you thought I was intending to be at all funny.

Francis Hunt 4 months ago

Inappropriate is probably more accurate.

Daniel Kennamore 4 months ago

Then, when would it be appropriate to have an honest discussion about gun control in your mind?

Francis Hunt 4 months ago

That comment was not the opening of an honest, let alone grown up discussion. Guns are out of control and your comment is inappropriate and callous.

Daniel Kennamore 4 months ago

Because I know for experience that a rational debate with gun owners is impossible, regardless of timing.

If you want to pick a date to put up an editorial on here for us to debate in...I'll meet you there.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

My prayers are with everyone involved, except the gun owner.

Francis Hunt 4 months ago

That's a good Christian attitude.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

Well, let Jesus forgive the jerk when he/she gets to heaven. I'm not Jesus, and I think there is no such thing as an accident. I've been told by gun fanatics that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Someone killed this baby, the gun didn't. Ad I hope they suffer, and quite frankly they should do some jail time for manslaughter. Keep your d•mn guns locked up. Not locking up your guns is the same as driving drunk. You choose not to do the responsible thing, you should pay for it.

Jeanette Kekahbah 4 months ago

Yeah that is what Jesus taught - be as devoid of compassion as possible, want people to suffer. No such thing as an accident so you choose to follow Pontius Pilate?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Go on leave you gun anywhere unlocked. Nothing could happen from stupid irresponsibility, could it. Just an accident. And hey, while your at it, drive your car drunk. What could happen?

Charles Jones 4 months ago

Inappropriate, Francis Hunt? I find your sensibilities a bit askew. What's inappropriate is this country's gun culture and the thousands and thousands of gun deaths. If this this death is the result of the accident, the gun owner should be held criminally liable for manslaughter. Surely all "responsible gun owners" would agree that guns should be properly managed. And the Journal World ought to publish the gun owners name and address, this community ought to know where its danger are. If you gun apologists think my comments are too harsh. Good.

Ron Holzwarth 4 months ago

Publishing the names and addresses of gun owners wouldn't do very much good. Criminals are not likely to willfully report their ownership, and many of the crimes here in Lawrence come from people that travelled from a city to the west of us, carrying firearms with them.

And, there are Constitutional issues involved.

In my opinion, the only thing that could really help to prevent accidental shootings would be gun safety classes, available at no charge to the public.

Sherry Bond 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Ramon Romero 4 months ago

There was nothing wrong with Daniel's comment. It draws attention to the extremist view of gun nuts who want NO gun control whatsoever.

Francis, you need to take a chill pill. Remember, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Jeanette Kekahbah 4 months ago

Hey Ramon, control your political agenda here out of respect for the loss of life. This sort of extremist "solution" IS part of the problem.

Shawn Boultinghouse 4 months ago

You guys are rich. You sound like a lynch mob. Maybe we should wait and find out the details as to how this happened, before we hang the gun owner.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

So your saying guns kill people, not people. Thanks for clearing that up.

Paul Beyer 4 months ago

It's very obvious someone in that house was not a responsible gun owner or the 1 year old would not be dead. Therefore criminal charges should be filed, the gun didn't fire itself.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

Dorothy: I believe Shawn was pointing out that there are over twenty comments here based on no details. While I can't imagine a scenario where no charges will be filed against someone, it remains to be seen who might face charges and for what reason.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

It should be the gun owner. Always the gun owner. If you want to own a gun, know where it is, always assume it is loaded, and always lock it up. If you are cleaning your gun, don't do it anywhere near anyone else, and always assume it's loaded. What do they tell you if you are smart enough to take a gun safety course? Always assume a gun is loaded. Check and triple check. And always lock up your gun, unless you are on the range for practice or cleaning it.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

So if my gun is secured in a locked safe and someone breaks into my home in my absence, breaks open the safe and uses it to commit a crime is that my fault?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

If you don't report it to the police, yes. But that's not what happened here, and you know it.

MerriAnnie Smith 4 months ago


You bought the gun and put it in your house to be stolen. If someone steals it, it's your fault.

Anybody who can't completely and securely control access to their guns should opt out of owning them.

Charles Jones 4 months ago

I would welcome a detailed report by the LJW on how this child was shot to death. But please. No worst case scenario with this child or a thousand others would put a dent in the slavish devotion some have to their guns and the NRA. What good would it do to publish names? It's time to shame the gun culture into some level of responsibility.

Brock Masters 4 months ago

I would argue with the high number of gun owners and number of accidental shootings that in general legal gun owners are responsible.

There are always going to be irresponsible people and you can't, no matter, how man laws there are, stop stupid people from doing stupid stuff.

I realize the facts aren't in, but when they are known I'd like to know what new constitutional law would have prevented it.

Josh Berg 4 months ago

Chicago has the strictest gun controls in the country and yet is the murder capital of the country. If someone wants a gun to commit terrible acts then they will find a way laws or no laws. Thoughts and prayers to this family. Obviously their goal was to protect their family from all the recent crime going on in this city. It is unfortunate and hopefully they are on the road to healing

Michael Dennis 4 months ago

Unfortunate? A child, a baby, is dead. Healing? It happened yesterday.

No big deal right, Josh? Carry on. As long as you can still carry and conceal.

Josh Berg 4 months ago

Yeah I guess I am the bad guy now

Paul Beyer 4 months ago

Nope, just another typical gun nut.

Brock Masters 4 months ago

I missed in the story where they didn't have training. Can you point me to where it said they had no training?

Josh Berg 4 months ago

There goes paul again. Runs out of things to argue so he resorts to name calling.

Paul Beyer 4 months ago

What's to argue, someone had a gun, didn't treat or handle it properly, a child died. End of story. Good probable cause for charges and prosecution.

Brock Masters 4 months ago

Once again there are those who try to use a tragedy to further their political agenda.

This is a tragedy, but that is all we know. We don't know how it happened. It is obvious that someone didn't do something right, but no details yet. And the how does matter.

Even without the details there are those that call for criminal prosecution. Really, do these same people call for criminal prosecution when a child dies from poisoning? Or drowning in a Bathtub? Someone was careless and a child died so why not criminally prosecute them?

Of course they don't because it doesn't fit with their political agenda.

And of course there are the canned talking points. The gun nuts oppose gun control. Nope, there are thousands of regulations pertaining to gun ownership and use. Most don't oppose these, but do oppose new ones that do not keep criminals from owning guns but do infringe upon the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.

Should the person who killed the child be prosecute? I don't know because I don't have the facts.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

The political agenda to require training before people are allowed to own guns? Are babies just collateral damage for your rights?

Brock Masters 4 months ago

Do you know the details of the accident? If not, then how do you know training would have prevented it.

Yes, by your admission you have a political agenda to require training before gun ownership so before the facts are known you're using it to push that agenda.

Where in the Constitution does it say gun ownership but with training?

Is training a good idea? So why don't you work to fund free training, PSAs, etc.?

Ramon Romero 4 months ago

Jeannette K - your comment just bounced off of me and I didn't even feel it. We're all entitled to our opinions. I respect Daniel's, Francis', and even yours. I just don't agree with your holier-than-thou attitude. I respect the dead especially when the deceased is just an infant. Where's your anger for the adult responsible for this horrible "accident."

Ramon Romero 4 months ago

Brock - every comment here is political even yours. You're right, we don't know the facts. But I'll bet when they're known, we won't learn that the one-year old purchased the gun or picked the lock wherever it was secured and then accidentally shot himself. Absent these facts, there will be some measure of adult culpability. At least, I sure hope so.

Bob Forer 4 months ago

A dead one year old is acceptable collateral damage for the gun nuts. Sad. Very sad.

Charles Jones 4 months ago

Right out of the NRA playbook. 1, Attempt to vilify anyone who thinks a 1 year old's life is more valuable than the gun that killed her. 2. Demand that people withhold judgment until the facts are gathered. 3. Ignore the facts. 4. Repeat as necessary. 5. Repeat as necessary. 6. Repeat ad nauseam. I think about the thugs shooting up our town. One thing is certain. They have an overblown sense of entitlement and an underdeveloped understanding of responsibility. Same for the NRA and its apologists.

Shawn Boultinghouse 4 months ago

It breaks my heart that this small child was killed. I cannot even begin to imagine how it would feel to loose a child. The fact remains, we don't know the facts of how this happened. An older sibling could have gotten to the gun, or it could have been one of the parents who didn't handle it properly. Either way, are we really going to prosecute the person responsible if it was indeed an accident? They have already lost a child or family member. Don't you think that would be punishment enough? Talk about destroying a family. That would probably do it.

Paul Beyer 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Last comment I'll make on this subject. It was caused by carelessness, stupidity or a combination of both, but "IT WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT". The person that fired the shot or the gun owner, probably the same person, was responsible for the result and deserves prosecution!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 4 weeks ago

It should always be the gun owner. A gun owner who doesn't keep a gun away from small children are responsible for them getting their hands on it. A gun owner who is playing around with or cleaning their guns with other people. especially children, nearby is irresponsible.

I'm sure they feel bad about killing a child, but if you don't start pressing charges of, at the very least, child endangerment, then these accidents will continue to increase. For those of you who want to protect these second amendment rights, I would think you would want to be really hard on irresponsible gun owners. They are the ones who will lead to regulations. Why are you defending them?

How about a non jail sentence for these ignorant people? How about they have to set up a booth at gun shows and NRA rallies and discuss gun safety and tell their story over and over?

And it is NEVER a child's fault if someone left a gun out, so they picked it up and killed someone. They should get all the therapy they need to get over it. And maybe gun owners should be required to have liability insurance to pay for someone's therapy or hospital or funeral expenses.

Brock Masters 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Didn't see anyone defending the gun owner. A call to wait until the facts are in before we hang them, but not defending them.

Question -,do you want to hold other people who accidentally kill a child to the same standard you're suggesting for gun owners?

Mother leaves kid alone in bath tub and they drown - criminal prosecution? Parents do not secure furniture as directed in instructions and in falls over and kill child - criminal prosecution?

Parent runs over child with car - criminal prosecution?

If not why not since all these parents were negligent and caused the child's death?

I'm good with prosecuting the gun owner but only if we treat lol child killers the same.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Leaving a child alone in the tub? Yes, child neglect. Not sure about the furniture, but possibly. Running over with a car depends too. But nonef these things were created for the express purpose to kill, were they? Guns were created to kill; it's their only purpose. If you don't treat them that way, you are an irresponsible gun owner, and should not have one.

Brock Masters 3 months, 4 weeks ago

I do agree that it is not responsible to properly handle a gun considering the possible deadly consequences, but accidents can happen even when you try to do,everything right.

I agree with you that training is important in learning how to safely handle a gun, but it doesn't have to be paid training. Many sons and daughters have learned from their parents or a mentor how to handle a gun. I did and I've taken training too but it provided no more info on how to safely handle a gun than my dad taught me.

I would like to see PSAs about gun handling. You're right some people have no training at all and PSAs may help.

I just disagree that an accidental shooting should be criminally prosecuted in all instances.

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