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Man Charged After 4-Year-Old Apparently Shoots Self In Chest

Posted at 3:25 PM, Dec 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-29 15:25:23-05

CINCINNATI (WLWT) – Tyrekis Mitchem appeared before a Hamilton County judge charged with 1 count of child endangering after the Friday afternoon shooting that sent a four-year-old to the hospital.

Prosecutors say Mitchem was smoking marijuana and playing video games when he laid a 9-millimeter pistol on the floor. The child somehow got a hold of the weapon and fired into his chest.

Police said the boy was shot inside the apartment building on Burton Avenue on Friday afternoon.

“I heard the gunshot,” said Anthony Lattimore. “It sounded real muffled. It didn’t really sound like a gunshot.”

“It was horrible. Everyone panics in a situation like that,” said Annette Johnson.

Witnesses said they saw a man screaming for help from an upstairs window.

“He’s screaming, ‘Do you have a car? Do you have a car? I need a ride to take my son to the hospital,” Johnson said.

“The father got in the window. He was screaming hysterically, panicking that his son shot himself,” Lattimore said.

Police said the boy and his father weren’t the only people inside the apartment when the gun went off.

“There are other children who were in the residence, as well as other adults and we’re trying to figure out whatever role any of them played,” said Cincinnati police Capt. Martin Mack.

Lattimore said he helped the father put pressure on the boy’s chest as they carried him toward the street. They were about to load him in a car, but the ambulance showed up and took the boy to Children’s Hospital.

Judge Brad Greenberg ordered Mitchem held on a ten-thousand-dollar bond with the stipulation that he have no contact with the child and have no weapons in his home.