Ronnie Lynn, a 4-year-old son of Pennsylvania parents Michael and Laura Steele, shot himself in the head earlier this year, leading to charges of intentionally harming another person and endangering the welfare of children by a parent or guardian.
Ronnie was escorted to his room in a mobile home in Rostraver Township, Pennsylvania, on July 6. The sound of a “pop” had his parents racing to his room, where they discovered a severely injured Ronnie. Next to him lay a revolver.
Steele was more worried that her kid might cut himself playing with scissors than the pistol that she had forgotten was hidden beneath the bed.
Ronnie was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital in a critical but stable condition. He was paralyzed on his right side.
The rapid action of the EMS personnel ensured Ronnie’s survival; they were able to get him to the operating room in under an hour after receiving the call. According to his family’s September update, he is doing better now that he has had his feeding tube withdrawn and has feeling in his limbs again. A few months ago, he started to recover his speech as well, but he was still unable to walk and needed a wheelchair. According to Ronnie’s GoFundMe page, he had brain and eye injuries.
Ronnie went back to his house and started physical treatment, but he has continued to struggle with his right arm.
Investigators have since found that Steele and Lynn were responsible for the accident. Their charges included the second-degree felony of endangering the welfare of children by a parent or guardian and the second-degree misdemeanor of recklessly endangering another person.
Accusing herself of poor communication and being too exhausted to pay attention to her kid, Steele takes full responsibility for the situation. It would seem that District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli agrees, at least partially, that this incident was terrible and reprehensible and that it might have been averted.
Keeping weapons in a locked safe is the simplest way to avoid accidents like this.