Authorities plan to perform an autopsy on a 1-year-old boy accidentally shot in the head and killed by his young sister this week, Chowchilla Police Chief David Riviere said Friday.
The weapon, a handgun, may have been improperly stored, Riviere said, enabling the girl to find it. The mother of the children, Erica Bautista, is a 16-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The handgun wasn’t a duty weapon but was registered to her.
“We are actively investigating this case,” said Riviere. “When the investigation is complete it will be turned over to the Madera County District Attorney’s Office for review.”
Denny said the department hopes to wrap up its investigation by Monday.
Chowchilla police officers arrived at the home in the 200 block of Alameda Avenue shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday and found the wounded victim being cared for by his mother and sister. He died in an ambulance on its way to Valley Children’s Hospital.
The age of the sister will not be released, said Sgt. Daniel Denny, who explained the police chief doesn’t feel it would be appropriate.
Those with information on the shooting incident are asked to call Denny at 665-8600. Parents with an unsecured gun may also want to reach out to the Chowchilla Police Department, but for a different reason.
“We have (free) gun locks,” Denny said. “If someone were to come in and ask for one we would just give them out.”