A 2-year-old boy and his parents were injured Wednesday morning when the boy fired a loaded handgun left on a nightstand in his parents’ bedroom in West Bath, according to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.

Police arrived at 109 New Meadows Road after receiving a report of multiple gunshot wounds at 7:58 a.m.

The mother, 22, sustained a “clean gunshot wound” to her leg and the father, 25, sustained a minor injury to the back of his head, according to Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry. The gun struck the boy’s face when it recoiled.

All three were transported to Mid Coast Hospital for treatment of injuries that aren’t believed to be life threatening, according to police.

Merry said the boy’s face injury “was minor and, to my understanding, he was immediately released.”

A 3-week-old baby was also in the room at the time but wasn’t harmed, police said. The infant was turned over to his grandmother who also lives at the residence but was not home at the time of the shooting.


The boy fired one round from a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun that struck both parents, said Merry.

“The question of how the boy was able to pick up and fire the weapon is of great concern and is being investigated,” Merry wrote in a statement Wednesday. “This situation, while disturbing, could have had an even more tragic ending. We are thankful that the injuries were not more serious.”

Police would not disclose the names of those involved. The home where the shooting occurred is owned by Sherry Cousins, according to West Bath tax records.

No one has been charged, but the investigation continues, Merry said.

Merry said that although incidents like these are rare, they should be taken as a warning to the public to ensure firearms are kept in a locked, secure location out of reach of children.

“In the 12 years I’ve been sheriff, we’ve never had a situation like this,” said Merry. “If you have children, you really should be securing any firearm in a locked closet or cabinet or have a trigger lock.”


Merry said the Sagadahoc County Sherriff’s Office offers free trigger locks to anyone who needs one.

A 2017 study conducted by the Center for Violence Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found 1.7 million children in the U.S. live in homes with unlocked, loaded guns.

“In 2015, there were 2,824 firearm-related deaths among children less than 19 years of age,” the report states. “Eighty-nine percent of unintentional firearm deaths occur at home, and those with a gun in the home are three times more likely to die from firearm-related accidents.”

In January, a 2-year-old boy in Waterville was left in critical condition after a sibling shot him in the head with a gun the sibling found in the home. Waterville Police said the sibling found the gun that was secured in a closet, loaded it, and fired one round, the Morning Sentinel reported.

In August 2020, a 16-year-old Farmington boy accidentally shot and killed himself with a handgun at his home. The gun was owned by a family member and reported to be unloaded and kept in the family member’s closet, the Sun Journal reported.

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