Father charged after toddler accidentally shoots and kills mother in Dolton Food 4 Less parking lot

DOLTON, Ill. (WLS) -- The father of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his mother Saturday in Dolton is now facing a misdemeanor gun charge.

Please note: The video above is from a previous report

Police said a 3-year-old boy got hold of a gun in the back seat of his parent's car while they were parked at the Food-4-Less in the 1000-block of East Sibley Blvd., and began playing with the weapon. It discharged, hitting his mother, 22-year-old Dejah Bennet, in the neck.

She died a short time later.

"This could have been prevented," said Dolton trustee and crisis responder Andrew Holmes.

Holmes stood outside the supermarket Sunday, handing out 400 gun locks while speaking to shoppers, families in particular, about the importance of gun safety.
"It's very important. If you do have guns at home, put them up -- lock them up. If you have little children, it doesn't matter, they get into any and everything," said Dolton resident Crystal Lyons.

"All it takes is a second: unlock it, thread it through the barrel, bring it back around, put it in and lock it back," Holmes added. "If you leave it, secure it."

The boy's father was arrested and admitted the gun was his, Holmes said. Romell Watson, 23, will face misdemeanor gun charges, town officials announced Monday.

He was legally entitled to own the gun but transported the weapon in a vehicle in an unlawful manner, officials said. He is expected to be processed and released from custody Monday night.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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