Maine boy, 4, accidentally fires gun left on dresser, deputies say

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 12:05 PM EDT
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WEST BATH, Maine (WMTW) — A West Bath man is charged with endangering the welfare of a child after deputies said his 4-year-old stepson accidentally fired an unsecured handgun.

The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to a home on New Meadows Road just before 8 a.m. on Thursday.

Investigators said the gun was left unsecured on a dresser in the boy’s parent’s bedroom.

The boy’s stepfather, Stephen Ambrose, 24, left the room momentarily to get the gun’s holster and belt when the child grabbed the gun and fired a single shot, deputies said.

The bullet went through a wall and into an adjacent apartment. The tenant of that apartment was home, but no one was hurt, officials said.

“The issue of adults leaving handguns unattended, in the presence of children is a serious problem. Parents have a responsibility to keep their children safe. If you are going to own a gun, be responsible. We encourage gun owners to secure their weapons with gunlocks or keep them in a safe location, away from children,” Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said.

Ambrose is scheduled to appear in court in January on the misdemeanor charge.

There was a similar incident in May in which a 2-year-old boy fired an unsecured gun, injuring both of his parents.

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