This was not a story we should ever have seen nor should we see it again.
A 26-year-old Milwaukee woman was shot and killed Tuesday morning as she drove down a Wisconsin highway. The person who pulled the trigger in the fatal shooting of Patrice Price, authorities believe, was Price’s toddler, who found a firearm in the car.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday identified Price as the victim in the incident. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release.
“According to witness accounts, Price’s 2 ½-year-old child was in the back seat, retrieved a firearm that slid out from under the driver’s seat and shot through the seat, striking the driver,” the release stated. “The driver’s mother and one-year-old child were in the front passenger seat.”
Price’s father, Andre Price, told WISN, an ABC affiliate, that the child’s mother was his son, a security guard, and was driving his car when the shooting occurred.
“My chest has been hurting,” Andre Price told the station. “I’ve got a knot in my chest.”
Deputies discovered a gun belt on “the floor of the front passenger seat,” according to the release. That gun belt belonged to Price’s boyfriend. The firearm was located behind the driver’s seat, the release stated.
“She was the best mom for her kids, put clothes on their back,” Price’s brother, Antonio, told the Associated Press. “When I needed her, she always cared for me and gave me great advice.”
There are so many things wrong with this story that makes it even more tragic. First of all, the boyfriend should not have left his gun unsecured in the car. While it is possible that it rolled out of the belt from under the seat in the course of the day’s travel, it is completely unacceptable that it wasn’t secured, either in a locked safe or locked with a free kit from Project ChildSafe.
Secondly, a 2 1/2 year old child restrained in a carseat in the back of a car would not have been able to reach down to the floor to have grabbed the gun at all. Even my 8 year old, who is still in a booster seat in the middle seats of our minivan, has to ask for help to reach the pockets behind the front seat for her travel gear.
Finally, gun safety is important to learn – not just for gun owners, but for their spouses and children as well. Even if you don’t plan on teaching your significant other or children to shoot guns, they need to know gun safety at a minimum. If every one was taught the four rules of firearm safety, many senseless shootings would be avoided.
These stories are senseless and absolutely avoidable. Please teach your loved ones firearm safety today!