HomeCrime UpdateToddler's Gun Accident: Allentown Father Charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment

Toddler’s Gun Accident: Allentown Father Charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment

  • The toddler’s gun accident happened in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Jose Hilario Abreu, a 28-year-old father from Allentown, Pennsylvania, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment following the tragic accidental shooting of his three-year-old son, Elijah Abreu Borgen. The incident occurred when Elijah found a loaded semi-automatic handgun under a couch in their home and accidentally shot himself. Abreu was arraigned on Friday, April 7, 2024, and is being represented by the county public defender’s office.

The semi-automatic handgun was left unattended and fully loaded under the couch where Elijah and a two-year-old child were sitting. Abreu left the room, and upon hearing a loud bang, he returned to find Elijah with a gunshot wound to the chest. The gun was found to be unholstered and resting on a pillow on the couch where the toddlers were sitting. Elijah was rushed to Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest but died from his injuries, and his death was ruled accidental.

A rapid gunshot residue test performed after Elijah’s death confirmed the presence of gunshot residue on his hands, providing evidence that the child had indeed handled the gun. The incident has sparked discussions about gun safety and responsibility, with local officials and community members expressing their condolences and emphasizing the importance of safe gun storage.

Jose Hilario Abreu is currently being represented by the county public defender’s office, and he was taken into custody pending his arraignment scheduled for Friday. This incident has sparked a conversation about gun safety and responsibility among the community, with Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk expressing his deepest sympathies for the family and emphasizing the importance of gun reform and responsible gun ownership. Tuerk also highlighted the need for stricter gun storage laws to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

State Representative Josh Siegel echoed the sentiment, agreeing that the father’s actions were negligent and reckless. He emphasized the importance of safe gun storage and the need for child-access-prevention laws to ensure the safety of children. Siegel’s comments underscore the community’s concern over the incident and the broader issue of gun safety.

In the wake of this tragic event, a GoFundMe page has been set up by Elijah’s aunt, Yaileen Baez Giron, to raise funds for his funeral services. The page has already garnered significant support, with over $7,800 raised so far. The outpouring of support reflects the community’s grief and the desire to honor Elijah’s memory.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of gun safety and the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm. It underscores the need for stricter gun control measures and the importance of ensuring that firearms are securely stored away from children.

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