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Dejah Bennet: Chicago mom accidentally shot dead by 3-year-old with pistol, dad arrested

A 3-year-old kid accidentally shot his mother to death when the family was sitting in their car in a suburban Chicago supermarket parking lot
UPDATED MAR 16, 2022
(Representational Image/photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
(Representational Image/photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

A three-year-old kid accidentally shot his mother to death when the family was sitting in their car in a suburban Chicago supermarket parking lot. The woman was shot on Saturday, March 12, in Dolton and died at a hospital, according to authorities. The shooting happened around 8.30 pm. The family was sitting in their car outside a Food 4 Less store when the kid discovered the pistol and fired it, shooting his mother.

Authorities stated the boy's father was taken into custody after revealing ownership of the rifle. Dejah Bennet, 22, was named as the victim.

The family was sitting in their car — the father in the driver's seat, the mother in the passenger seat, and the kid in a car seat in the back — outside a Food 4 Less shop in the community about 20 miles south of Chicago when the boy discovered the firearm. According to Dolton police, the boy's parents were unaware he had the handgun until it fired, striking 22-year-old Dejah Collins in the neck. The boy's father, Romell Watson, 23, was allegedly jailed following the incident. According to the Associated Press, he will be charged with unauthorized use of a firearm.


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According to Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins Jr, detectives are working to determine the specific charges against Watson. He said, “We do not have anything to indicate that the dad fired the weapon so the avenue we are pursuing is that the gun was his responsibility. He was legally entitled to own the gun, however, he transported the weapon in a vehicle in a manner not prescribed by law.”  Collins stated that officers performed a forensic interview with the youngster. A child psychologist examined the youngster, and during the discussion the child said he was the one who fired the gun, he added. "We're confident he fired the gun. He somehow got ahold of the gun and began playing with it in a playful manner, pointed the gun, and fired the shot," Collins added. 

According to data examined by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been at least 43 unintentional shootings by children in the United States this year, resulting in 16 deaths and 29 injuries. According to the organization, there were at least 379 unintentional shootings by minors in the United States last year, resulting in 154 deaths and 244 injuries.