Child and Parents Arrested in Ankeny Shooting - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Child and Parents Arrested in Ankeny Shooting

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By Jessica Daley


Three people are facing charges in connection with a shooting that critically injured a 12-year-old boy in September in Ankeny.
Michael Wells of Berwick was visiting a friend on Sept. 29th when the shooting happened. Police say Wells was found in a bedroom with a single gunshot wound to the head. Police say this was not an accidental shooting.
Tuesday a 12-year-old boy who was in the Ankeny home was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and reckless use of a firearm. Both are felonies.

That boy's mother, Vickie Beckman, and her boyfriend, Charles Toomer, were both arrested for making the firearm available to a child younger than 14 years old and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wells was treated at Mercy Medical Center. Police say he is now back home.

Police wouldn't say how the shooter got his mother's gun, but Iowa Firearms Coalition President Jeff Burkett says this is a sad reminder of the importance of gun safety and education.

He says there are plenty of ways to keep firearms out of kids' hands. There are big safes that can store multiple firearms including rifles and smaller ones that you can lock one gun in and quickly and easily access it.

Burkett says some young people are trained and able to hand firearms, so it's a family-by-family choice on how to secure them.

"I think an incident like this really underscores the fact that laws are not effective. And I don't mean that they're totally ineffective, but at the end of the day it requires culpability and responsibility on the firearm's owner," says Burkett.

Instead of pressing for more laws, the coalition would like to see more resources put on gun education.

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