Parenting fail: 5-year-old on cocaine shot 16-month-old who had marijuana in his system

Parenting fail: 5-year-old on cocaine shot 16-month-old who had marijuana in his system

Stories of small children dying are always sad. Back in March of this year, I remember reading about a tragic story (archived links) of a 5-year-old who shot his 16-month-old toddler brother at an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana.


A 16-month-old boy was shot dead Tuesday by his 5-year-old sibling, who found a handgun inside an apartment in northwestern Indiana, authorities said.

Little Isiah Johnson was killed with a single shot in the home in the town of Lafayette, Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello confirmed.

One adult was home when the 5-year-old apparently found the weapon and opened fire at about 3 p.m.

“There was one adult and two children inside the apartment,” Lafayette police Lieutenant Matt Gard told the Journal & Courier.

A person located outside of the apartment called 911 and reported that a child was not breathing.

By the time officers got to the location, there was nothing that could be done to save the toddler, cops said.

The investigation is finally complete and there’s an update on the story (archived links), and it’s not good at all:

5-year-old who fatally shot baby brother was on cocaine — while dead toddler had marijuana in system

By Jesse O’Neill

A 5-year-old Indiana boy who shot his baby brother dead was high on cocaine at the time — while the dead toddler had marijuana in his system, according to prosecutors.

The shocking revelation came as neglect and drug charges were unsealed Tuesday against the boys’ parents, Deonta Jermaine Johnson, 27, and Shatia Tiara Welch, 24.

The couple was arrested on the new charges Monday in La Porte, Ind., according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

Young Isiah Johnson died from a gunshot wound to the head after his unnamed brother found a handgun in their drug den of a home, police said.

Johnson claimed to have been napping on the couch at the time, saying he “heard a boom” before he found the 16-month-old boy dead, according to a probable cause affidavit.


Police also found 93 fentanyl pills as well as marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the couple’s Lafayette apartment following the deadly shooting.

Mom Welch told police that the gun was hers, claiming that it was usually kept in a locked box under her bed.

Johnson was also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to clear the apartment of weed before police arrived.

Four weeks before the deadly shooting, Welch was brought up on charges of possessing and dealing narcotics and marijuana, which is illegal for both medical and recreational purposes in Indiana, according to court records.


This story is wrong on so many levels. It’s utterly horrifying to even think of someone plying a child with drugs or alcohol, and yet here we have a case of a 5-year-old on cocaine and a toddler on marijuana. The alleged drug dealer parents also kept fentanyl at home; even small amounts of that drug can be lethal to a child, and this couple had a lot of it.

The children’s father is charged with obstruction of justice for trying to get rid of the marijuana before police arrived, and four weeks before the shooting, the children’s mother had already been charged with possessing and dealing narcotics. On top of all that, the drug dealer parents had an unsecured handgun that the boy accessed. We don’t know if the drugs were left unsecured as well.

Everytown pounced on this incident within days of the news coming out (archived links), exploiting it to demand safe storage laws. See their below tweet from April 2, 2023:

What law from the gun controllers’ wishlist would have prevented this? The parents in this case have been charged with serious crimes. That their children have been found with cocaine and marijuana in their systems is all the more appalling. Safe storage laws are Everytown’s answer to all this?


The gun control groups are awfully quiet now that the investigation is complete because it shows the limits of safe storage laws. All that the gun controllers will end up doing is passing laws that can only be enforced when the Fourth and Fifth amendments are violated to ensure that safe storage is actually complied with. Maybe it’s because they don’t care about any article in the Bill of Rights.

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