Police had been looking for a person of interest in the incident who reportedly fled from the home after the shooting. That person was taken into custody in a neighboring state and will be extradited to Jackson County next week, KCTV reported.
Police responded to the home at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and people in the home told them the 2-year-old was struck in a drive-by shooting. But police said at about 9 p.m. they had determined the child was handling the gun at the time.
The toddler was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead there. Police have not identified the child or the person of interest.
Investigators said the adult who fled the house reported wrecked their vehicle about four miles away and took off on foot. Detectives identified that person and launched a search.
Neighbor Savannah Carter, who has a 3-year-old son and a 2-month-old daughter, told KCTV that she was devastated by the shooting and “not surprised.”
“Oh, I’m extremely mad,” she said. “I mean, I call, like I said, I call the cops all the time. I mean, what else can I do? Am I going to have to come up with a petition or what?”
Independence police told KCTV that dispatch logs show 26 calls to the address where the shooting takes place since February. A report of shots fired came in just last month.
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