Deputies: 4-year-old accidentally shoots mom in face in Skyway

A Skyway mother, who is eight-months pregnant, is in the hospital after her 3-year-old son accidentally shot her in the face. The boy’s fourth birthday is Sunday.

“I am shocked by this, this is shocking,” said Treasure Nickles, a neighbor who said she frequently saw the mom’s kids playing outside.

The accidental shooting happened at 4:40 p.m. Saturday at the Greentree Apartments in Skyway, in the 12000 block of 71st Avenue South.

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“The mom is 27 years old. She is eight months pregnant. She was laying on the bed watching TV - her and her boyfriend,” said Sgt. Ryan Abbott of the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Abbott said the boyfriend - and father of the child - told deputies he had just moved the gun from a higher location and placed the loaded gun between the mattress and the box spring Friday night, after hearing some noises outside their home.

“He (the child) found a handgun that was unsecured there and he grabbed it, and before anyone knew what happened, heard a pop sound. And the mom was shot on her face area,” Abbott said.

First responders rushed her to Harborview Medical Center.

“The last status I had was her injuries were life-threatening,” Abbott said.

The incident has neighbors horrified.

“This is devastating and I pray his mom is OK,” Nickles said.

“Whoever owns that gun should be responsible,” said September, a neighbor who declined to share her last name.

King County law requires gun owners to lock their firearms. Abbott said the sheriff's office major crimes detectives will be doing more interviews, but the dad could potentially face charges.

“The hope going forward is guns are locked up in people's houses, so something tragic like this doesn't happen. Because now this child is going to be affected forever. And we're hoping and praying the mom is going to be ok in this situation,” Abbott said.

KIRO 7 caught up briefly with family members outside Harborview Saturday night.

“My niece was shot,” said Wendy, who declined to share her last name.

They say luckily, the mom is conscious and talking.

“She was shot but she's doing OK,” Wendy said.

The sheriff’s office said the gun came back "clean,” or not stolen or tied to any crimes.

Abbott added that the dad told deputies he recently borrowed the gun from a friend or relative, and the legality behind that situation would also be investigated.