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by Garrett Therolf and Richard Winton
Thursday, Jul. 13, 2006 at 6:27 AM
Now if your son or my son got the gun and shot someone we would be charged with several crimes. Will this cop be charged with a crime? Probably not!!!! They never are.
Dumb ass LA cop lets his 3 year old son shoot him!
Boy, 3, Shoots Father, an LAPD Officer, With Service Weapon
The two are at an Anaheim intersection in the family pickup when the child fires the handgun. The police veteran is in critical condition.
By Garrett Therolf and Richard Winton, Times Staff Writers
July 12, 2006
The 3-year-old son of a Los Angeles police officer got hold of his father's service handgun Tuesday and shot him as they sat in the family's pickup at a traffic light near their home in Anaheim, police said.
The boy, who was in the back seat, fired a single round into 35-year-old Enrique Chavez's upper back, and the bullet went out through the officer's chest, police said. Still stopped at the light, Chavez passed his terrified son, Colin, to a stranger at a bus stop nearby and asked for help.
Paramedics rushed Chavez to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where doctors listed him in critical condition.
Los Angeles Police Department sources said there is a threat of paralysis from the injury to the 10-year veteran officer.
Capt. Bill Murphy, one of Chavez's commanding officers, said the bullet hit several vital areas.
"It is a terrible tragedy," Police Chief William J. Bratton said after visiting the family at the hospital. "It is a reminder to anyone that has a firearm that you have to be conscious about keeping that firearm secure and keeping it away from children."
Department spokesman Lt. Paul Vernon said officers are allowed to carry their guns during off hours but with the mandate that they "maintain control of their weapon at all times."
The boy was not wearing a child restraint, according to Anaheim Police Sgt. Tim Schmidt. Investigators were unable to say where he took the 9-millimeter gun from or whether it was locked up.
Chavez was also carrying a backup weapon in the truck, but Schmidt would not say where it was stored or what kind of weapon it was.
It is a crime in California if a child finds a loaded gun in a place one controls and shoots someone with it. The law is in the state's basic training manual for police.
The law also requires children riding in a car to be placed in safety seats until they are 6 years old or weigh 60 pounds.
Anaheim police began a criminal investigation into the shooting that will determine whether those laws were broken.
Schmidt said the department had not yet learned whether the bullet flew out of the truck during the 11:45 a.m. shooting at La Palma Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. The adjacent La Palma Park was filled with children playing and people eating their lunches on benches.
The LAPD will also conduct a review to determine whether policies were violated, Vernon said.
Chavez patrolled one of the department's toughest divisions, Newton, which includes a portion of South Los Angeles between downtown and Florence Avenue. He had recently returned to street patrol after an assignment to the gang unit.
Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez, a department spokesman, said most police officers carry their guns off duty.
Officers said LAPD personnel generally pursue two approaches to gun safety at home.
One group tells their children about the danger a gun poses but says the parent has to carry it. These officers tells the child that if for some reason the parent leaves the weapon in the open, the youngster should not touch it and should tell an adult immediately.
Other officers immediately secure their guns in a lock box when they return home.
Nevertheless, Chavez is the third Los Angeles area police officer to be shot by a relative with his or her service weapon in recent weeks.
On Monday, Pasadena police said Officer Karen White, contrary to initial reports, did not attempt suicide in Compton last month when she was shot in the face but was wounded when she tried to wrestle her gun from her suicidal 18-year-old son.
White, a 10-year department veteran, spoke to investigators about the incident for the first time Friday. The same day, her son admitted the accidental shooting last month and turned himself in to sheriff's investigators in Compton.
On July 2, LAPD Officer Ronald Cade was shot and wounded off duty with his service weapon by Yolanda Cade, his wife of two weeks. She had seen a text message on his phone that he had sent to someone else, according to the district attorney's office.
Ronald Cade is the subject of in internal affairs investigation in connection with the shooting. His wife has been charged with three counts of attempted murder.
Times staff writers Patrick McGreevy and H.G. Reza contributed to this report.
LAPD officer critically wounded by his 3-year-old son
Updated, 9:10 p.m. Off-duty officer is accidentally shot from the back seat of his pickup truck while driving. Investigators try to figure out how boy got his hands on 9mm handgun.
From wire service reports
An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was critically wounded today when he was accidentally shot by his 3-year-old son while the two were in a pickup truck in Anaheim, police said.
Enrique Chavez, 35, was driving his Ford Ranger near Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue shortly before noon when the boy, who was sitting in the back seat, got his hands on the 9mm handgun, said Anaheim police Sgt. Tim Schmidt. ``How he got it, we don't know,'' Schmidt said.
The gun went off and the bullet entered Chavez's back and exited through his chest, Schmidt said.
Chavez was able to stop the truck and hand the child over to a witness while he was still in the vehicle, Schmidt said.
There were two loaded guns in the vehicle, Schmidt said, and how the child got hold of one of them will be a focus of the department's investigation. The child also was not in a car seat, which is required for children his age and size. ``We're asking the questions, `Why isn't the child in a car seat and how does he get access to a gun?''' Schmidt said.
Anaheim police ``will have to give (Chavez) at least a couple of days'' before they can interview him, Schmidt said.
``After we ask the questions and get good answers, we'll then forward them to the Orange County District Attorney's Office,'' Schmidt said.
Prosecutors will decide if any charges such as child endangerment should be filed, the sergeant said.
The child also was not in a seat belt, Schmidt said.
The back seat in the truck is not big enough to accommodate a child's car seat, Schmidt said.
Neighbors told NBC4 they did not hear the shot being fired and did not know anything was wrong until hearing his screams.
Police received the call at 11:46 a.m.
Chavez was conscious and alert before being taken to UCI Medical Center, where he underwent surgery, Schmidt said.
Sarla Persaud, a house supervisor at UCI, said by late afternoon Chavez was in critical but stable condition.
There were two loaded guns in the vehicle, Schmidt said, and how the child got hold of the gun will be a focus of the department's investigation.
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton, who went to the hospital in the afternoon, called the case ``a very tragic set of circumstances.''
``It's just a very tragic reminder of the importance of anybody who possesses a firearm of keeping it out of the hands of children,'' Bratton said.
Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Vernon said officers ``are expected to maintain control'' of their guns ``at all times'' when not in use.
``Obviously this kind of accident is not expected,'' Vernon said, adding that he did not want to ``second guess exactly what the circumstances are.''
Chavez, who lives in Anaheim, has been on the force about 10 1/2 years, Los Angeles police Officer April Harding said.
Officials said Chavez, who is assigned to Newton Division, has an uncle on the force.
Schmidt said because of the serious nature of the shooting, Anaheim police went to Newport Beach to get the child's mother, and both were taken to the hospital, where Chavez underwent surgery.
Police officer shot by toddler son
3-year-old finds, fires one round from 9mm pistol, critically wounding father.
ANAHEIM -- An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was shot in the back and critically wounded Tuesday by his 3-year-old son while their pickup truck was stopped at a traffic light, authorities said.
The 35-year-old Anaheim resident, Enrique Chavez, was driving his Ford Ranger near Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue shortly before noon when the boy, who was sitting in the back seat, got his hands on the 9mm handgun, said Anaheim police Sgt. Tim Schmidt.
"How he got it, we don't know," Schmidt said.
Chavez was conscious and alert before being taken to UCI Medical Center, where he underwent surgery, Schmidt said. Sarla Persaud, a house supervisor at UCI, said by late afternoon Chavez was in critical but stable condition.
"This is tragic. It's a pure accident," he said.
Chavez, a 10-year veteran of the Los Angeles force, had stopped in traffic at about 11:45 a.m. when his son, who was in a back seat, somehow managed to get the officer's 9mm handgun and fired one shot, Schmidt said.
"He sat in the driver's seat, yelling at people to help him," Schmidt said.
A woman sitting at a bus bench came over and the officer was able to hand the child to the woman through the window.
The officer "handed her the boy, and said, `Hey, I've been shot, my son shot me. I'm an off-duty LAPD officer. Please call 911,"' Schmidt said.
The crying boy was reunited with his mother at the hospital, Schmidt said.
"He knows what he did," the sergeant said. "I would say he was shocked, he was aware."
There were two loaded guns in the vehicle, Schmidt said, and how the child got hold of one of them will be a focus of the department's investigation. The child also was not in a car seat, which is required for children his age and weight.
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton visited the scene and said there had been an outpouring of concern from Chavez's co-workers. He said the shooting should illustrate to gun owners that they should keep their weapons safe.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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|cop should be charged!
||1st hand source
||Thursday, Jul. 13, 2006 at 6:38 AM
||Thursday, Jul. 13, 2006 at 6:50 AM
|These dumb ass cops are telling us to be safe!!!
||I take care of my gun!
||Thursday, Jul. 13, 2006 at 1:40 PM
|Of course the cop won't be charged wit a crime
||Friday, Jul. 14, 2006 at 12:02 PM
|Cops shoot 6 year old boy!
||Christopher Kline and Lindsey Collom
||Saturday, Jul. 15, 2006 at 6:56 AM
||Saturday, Jul. 15, 2006 at 10:15 AM
||Sunday, Jul. 16, 2006 at 5:11 AM
||Sunday, Jul. 16, 2006 at 5:53 AM
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