Police in Ibanda has kicked off investigations into circumstances under which a six-year-old son to a police officer shot himself dead while playing with the dad’s gun.
The incident according to Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson happened at around 8pm on Wednesday when Danson Bwambale, 6, a son to Special Police Constable, Pascazia Kiiza, a police officer attached to Bisheshe police station picked the gun and started playing with it.
“Kiiza had returned home(barracks) with the gun and kept it behind his children’s bed. The gun had been kept while loaded (with a bullet in the chamber) and when the child saw it, he started playing with it,” Kasasira said.
Consequently, while playing with the gun, the six-year-old son of the police officer accidentally pressed the trigger, shooting himself in the head and died instantly.
According to the regional police spokesperson, the deceased’s body was taken to Ruhoko health centre IV for postmortem whereas the gun was recovered and exhibited after a case of murder by suicide was registered.
Last year, a businessman was shot dead in Kampala when he handed a pistol to his cousin who started playing with it and by accident, she released a bullet that hit him in the chest.
It was said that the deceased didn’t know that a bullet had already entered the gun chamber when he gave the firearm to his cousin to play with.
The latest incident points to negligence on the police officer’s side for leaving a gun while loaded and keeping it in the children’s bedroom or where it can easily be accessed by children or any other person not authorized to touch it.
According to the dos and don’ts of keeping a gun, it is a prerequisite for any person in charge of a firearm to ensure it is unloaded and the ammunition locked up separately from the weapon.
“There is nothing worse than having your weapon fall into the wrong hands (inexperienced, immature, or criminal). Trigger locks and gun-safes go a long way towards preventing unauthorized use of your weapon,” experts advise.