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J'Den Watson: 4-year-old dead after shooting himself with mom's boyfriend's gun left on dollhouse

J'Den's mom Alicia Smith told police she was aware her partner Jackson had a gun and had left it on the dollhouse 'at least 10 times' before
UPDATED JAN 16, 2023
J'Den Watson died after accidentally shooting himself in the face with his mom's boyfriend's gun (GoFundMe)
J'Den Watson died after accidentally shooting himself in the face with his mom's boyfriend's gun (GoFundMe)

MUNCIE, INDIANA: A tragic turn of events led to the untimely death of a 4-year-old boy who shot himself in front of his younger sister with a gun he found in his dollhouse - a gun that allegedly belonged to his mother's boyfriend. The boy, J'Den Watson, died at a local hospital. The boy's mother is Alicia Smith, 22, whose boyfriend Joseph Jackson's gun was the reason her son was taken from life so early.

Jackson, 19, had said he always kept his 9mm Glock 19 without a holster in the dollhouse on the second floor. He was on another floor when he heard a "pop," followed by the eerie sound of his girlfriend screaming as well. When he went upstairs to check, he saw that the child was bleeding from the face.


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Jackson has claimed that he would help Smith with her two children every day and has been living with her for a month. He also told authorities that J'Den was climbing on the dollhouse the other day when he found the gun within reach. His mother said she was at the scene when the boy shot himself. She heard the sound when she turned around and saw her son collapse in front of her and his sister, reports People

When speaking to authorities, Smith said that Jackson had “previously left the gun in areas where her children could access it,” and that Jackson had left the gun on the dollhouse many times before- something that had become a point of argument between them both on multiple occasions. Court documents have revealed that neither of the adults had taken “any precautionary measures to secure the firearm from the children.”

Smith and Jackson have been charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and neglect of a dependent. J’Den Watson’s father Jammie had also provided a statement, saying J’Den was “caring, fun, gentle, liked to play, loved being around other kids.” He was not a present father but claims to have been a lot closer to his son's end towards the end of his short life. "I don't know how to cope with it. I don't even think I've fully accepted it."

The boy’s grandmother had also spoken to the media about her disbelief of the whole situation. She said, “We're so mad that they couldn't take the time to walk down the stairs to put it in a gun safe. Instead, they left it in a dollhouse and I don't understand that.” She then empathized with the mother, about whom she said, “I'm mad, I'm so mad, but at the same time, my heart goes out to [Smith] because I know how good of a mother she was."