Father arrested after 4-year-old fatally shoots self

By Phillip Mena, Anchor/Reporter, pmena@kprc.com
Published On: Feb 25 2013 09:39:46 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2013 04:25:16 PM CST

Feb. 25, 2013: A father is facing charges after a 4-year-old boy shoots and kills himself with a stolen gun, investigators say. Phillip Mena reports.

HOUSTON -

A north Houston father faces multiple charges after, police said, his 4-year-old son got a hold of his gun early Sunday morning and accidently shot and killed himself.

Houston police said Marquiez Pratt, 20, was asleep inside his apartment when his son Jaiden, 4, shot himself in the stomach inside an apartment in the 13500 block of Northborough, investigators said.

Police said that the gun was a .40 caliber pistol that was stolen in 2011.

"It really hurts," neighbor Patrick Green said while playing outside with his 4-year-old daughter. "It makes you feel closer to your kids and appreciate the time that you have with them."

Pratt was booked into the Harris County Jail, charged with injury to a child by omission.

Inside Pratt's apartment, police said they also found marijuana, crack cocaine, scales and other drug paraphernalia. As a result, Pratt is also charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

"If he's in jail right now, I feel like he's in the right place because there is no way that a 4-year-old should be dead right now because his dad was too irresponsible to put up a gun," neighbor Alicia Edwards said.

Other neighbors with children also voiced their concern.

"You never know what could happen," Jonathan Perry said. "The little boy could've ran outside, started playing with the gun, could've shot (outside). Anything could've happened. It's just heartbreaking that a little boy didn't get to enjoy his life."

Pratt has a criminal history dating back to 2010 that includes a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon.

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