3-year-old boy fatally shot in Merrillville, Indiana, police say

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Toddler fatally shot in NW Indiana: police
An apparent accidental shooting in Merrillville, Indiana left a 3-year-old boy dead in the 3100 block of West 79th Place, the police department said.

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WLS) -- Our coverage of this story has moved here.

A toddler was killed in an apparent accidental shooting in Northwest Indiana on Monday evening, police said.

Merrillville police said they responded to a home the 3100 block of West 79th Place around 5:45 p.m.

Medics arrived on the scene first, and started working on the victim, a 3-year-old boy in an ambulance before transporting him to Methodist Hospital Southlake Campus for treatment, police said.

The child was later pronounced dead, police said. ABC7 was told the family of the little boy is surrounded by loved ones at the hospital, and is obviously distraught. They are cooperating with the investigation.

"He was a bright, smart young man for his age. Always happy, great personality. It's like he'd been here before. Today is just a sad day," said Ron Brewer, the husband of the child's daycare provider.

It is unclear how the boy was shot. Police said the shooting appears to be accidental, but did not immediately provide further details about the circumstances leading up to the gunfire.

"Our detectives were called in. They're still working on stuff right now. They began their investigation, as we do any kind of death investigation, follow through with any, you know, make sure everything is correct. As of now, it appears it's an accidental shooting," said Merrillville Police Cmdr. Matthew Vasel.

Police said a gun was recovered at the home, and it appears that a single shot was fired. Police said no one is in custody and no one is being sought.

Police asked the public to pray for the victim's family, and requested that anyone with information contact Detective E. Meyer at Emeyer@merrillville.in.gov or 219-769-3531 ext 354. Anonymous tips can be sent to investigations@merrillville.in.gov.

Further information was not immediately available.