Grandmother of boy shot while playing with gun now facing felony charge

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Renee Smith

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Renee Smith, the grandmother accused of leaving a loaded gun within reach of a four-year-old boy who allegedly shot himself in the head , is now facing a felony charge. Prosecutors say Smith’s grandson accidentally shot himself near 45th & Locust back on March 19th.

Smith was previously facing a misdemeanor charge of leaving/storing a firearm near a child.  She is now facing one count of second degree recklessly endangering safety.

A criminal complaint against her says Smith had the gun in a shoebox underneath a bed in a bedroom where the four-year-old boy and other children were playing on the night of the shooting.

The boy, named Keyontist, was seriously injured.

The criminal complaint indicates the boy had a bullet hole in his forehead. He was breathing and his eyes were slightly open, but an officer could not find a pulse and started chest compressions on the boy until the Milwaukee Fire Department arrived on scene and took over.

The boy was transported to Children’s Hospital by ambulance.

The complaint says an officer discovered a black revolver on the bed.

The complaint says officers interviewed Smith, who told officers prior to the shooting, she was in the back bedroom, sitting in a chair watching television. Smith told officials four children were in the room. One of them was asleep on the bed, and the others were playing with matchbox cars on the bedroom floor.

The complaint says Smith told officials she observed all three children pop up immediately, and then go back down to the floor where they had been playing. That’s when Smith says she heard a “loud bang,” followed by two of the children popping up a second time.

Smith identified the shooting victim as her grandson, for whom she was responsible for providing care at the time of the shooting.

The complaint says Smith admitted to holding onto the firearm involved in the shooting for another individual. She said she kept the firearm in a shoebox underneath the bed.

A man later told authorities he sold the gun to Smith. That man told officials Smith wanted the gun for protection.

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