4-year-old boy dies after shooting himself in face in N.W. Baltimore

City police investigating how boy had access to gun

March 20, 2011|By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun

A 4-year-old boy died Sunday after he was found shot in the face in what Baltimore police said appears to be a self-inflicted injury. Police identified the child as Tyeshawn Townsend.

Police received a call about the shooting a little before 10:30 a.m. They found the boy at a house in the 3600 block of Fernhill Ave. near Callaway Elementary School in Northwest Baltimore, police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said.

The boy was taken to Sinai Hospital and later Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died.

The gun used in the incident was recovered, but Silbert said it was not yet known if it was registered or involved in other crimes. It was also unclear whether the boy lived at the house or was visiting. Police are investigating.

"We're still looking at the circumstances of the shooting," Silbert said.

Silbert said the shooting is a reminder for people to take precautions when a gun is in the house, such as using safety locks and keeping them out of reach of children.

Police cordoned off the block where the house is located — an end unit brick rowhouse across the street from the elementary school. A wooden bench and chair sat on the porch.

Neighbors who have lived in the neighborhood for years gathered around taking in the scene.

Sherrell Shaw, 24, lives a few doors down from where the victim was found. She said her grandmother woke her up after seeing police cars and hearing yelling.

"It's sad," she said. "Kids shouldn't be able to get to guns like that."

Others neighbors also were upset when they found out it was a child who was shot.

"My heart is sad," said Sarah Robinson, 59. "It is sad when anyone gets shot, but when it is a child it seems so much worse."

andrea.walker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/ankwalker

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