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Rockford Police: 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself, man faces gun charges

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Octtayges Shanklin

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Authorities say a shooting that left a 3-year-old boy dead was an accidental shooting.

The shooting happened back in October on N. Court St.

Winnebago County State's Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross and the Rockford Police Department say the investigation revealed the child got a hold of a gun and accidentally shot himself. The boy was taken to the hospital where he later died.

"This is a tragedy that no family should have to endure," Hite Ross said during a press briefing on Monday.

Hite Ross also announced charges against Octtayges Shanklin in the case.

Here are the charges the state's attorney filed against Shanklin:

  • 1 count of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (Class 1 felony)
  • 2 counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 2 felony)
  • 2 counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 3 felony)
  • 1 count of possession of a firearm without a FOID card (Class 3 felony)
  • 1 count of endangering the life of a child/death (Class 3 felony)

State's Attorney Hite Ross also spoke about the importance of gun safety around children to prevent accidental deaths.

"Gun safety around children is imperative to preventing accidental injury or death of a child. Responsible gun ownership saves lives," said Hite Ross.

Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea said his officers are seeing a number of guns in the city.

"These guns in our community are prolific, they're everywhere," said Chief Dan O'Shea during a news conference on Monday.

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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University. He also been a producer and Assignment Editor at the station.

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