After 3-year-old shoots mom, friend in Lafayette, IN, man arrested on Cook County murder charge

ByRich Nye, WTHR
Saturday, May 20, 2023
3-year-old shooting 2 leads to man's arrest on Cook Co. murder charge
A 3-year-old shot his mother, from Gary, and her friend. That man was wanted for murder in Cook County, officials say.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Police in Lafayette, Indiana are investigating a shooting by a 3-year-old boy that led to the arrest of a man wanted for murder in Cook County.

Investigators said two people were hurt when the child pulled the trigger on Thursday, WTHR reported.

This all happened at an apartment complex where a similar shooting involving another child took place in just the last two months.

Two people showed up at a Lafayette hospital Thursday night with non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

When police started asking questions, they found out the shooter was a 3-year-old.

Lafayette police believe the 3-year-old boy fired one shot inside this apartment, hitting his 21-year-old mother, Jalynn Artis from Gary, and her friend, 23-year-old Trayshaun Smith of Lafayette.

After Smith left the hospital, police arrested him for an active warrant for murder in Cook County.

"That's sad. I did not know what went on last night, but I seen the police was out here all night," said Janice Brown, who lives near where the shooting took place.

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"That's sad. It was a good thing that nobody got seriously injured. It could have been tragic," Larry Brown said.

The woman who rents the apartment said the little boy is her godson.

She was at work during the shooting, and everyone involved was just visiting.

Her boyfriend spoke for her.

"It's sad to hear, you know. Something more tragic could have happened and someone could have died or something like that, you know. Good thing nobody did pass or anything like that, you know? It's definitely, it's embarrassing, you know, for something like that, you know?" Chrishon Barnes said.

"I think if they have guns they should keep them locked up and away from the children. I mean, that would have prevented this obviously, and could have prevented the last one, as well," said Brandon Bellah, another neighbor.

The last one happened March 28, when a 5-year-old got ahold of a gun and shot and killed his 1-year-old baby brother inside another apartment at Romney Meadows.

Lafayette police said the Department of Child Services was notified of Thursday's incident, but the child was not taken into protective custody.

No one is charged in the shooting so far, and the prosecutor is reviewing the case.