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Grandmother of boy who shot himself makes “brief & incomplete” court appearance

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A four-year-old boy picked up a gun and shot himself in the head near 45th & Locust back on March 19th -- and his grandmother has been charged in the case. On Tuesday, May 20th -- two months after the incident, she was back in a Milwaukee County courtroom.

Renee Smith was in court all of about 10 minutes on Tuesday. Her court proceeding was brief -- and incomplete.

Smith faces a misdemeanor charge of leaving/storing a firearm near a child.

On Tuesday, Smith was apparently going to enter a plea to the charge against her. Her attorney said he had received a plea agreement offer from the prosecution, but had yet to discuss it with Smith -- so no plea was entered on her behalf.

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.

Four-year-old Keyontist

Four-year-old Keyontist

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. 

Smith was not thrilled to see the media during a court appearance in April -- and on Tuesday, May 20th, she made it known she had no comment.

The court has set a trial date for Smith -- in case she decides to reject the plea offer presented by the prosecution.