No charges in accidental shooting of toddler in North County - KMOV.com

No charges in accidental shooting of toddler in North County

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An arrest was made after 21-month-old Carter Epps fatally shot himself in north St. Louis County Tuesday afternoon, police said. An arrest was made after 21-month-old Carter Epps fatally shot himself in north St. Louis County Tuesday afternoon, police said.
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    ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) –The St. Louis County Police Department is asking for help locating a person of interest in relation to the death of a 21-month-old.More >
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(KMOV.com) – Charges will not be filed at this time in the shooting death of 21-month-old Carter Epps, authorities announced Wednesday afternoon.

Epps got a hold of a gun and fatally shot himself Tuesday afternoon at his grandmother’s home in the 7700 block of Utica in Hanley Hills.  He was taken to a hospital by his mother, but later died.

The mother was later taken into custody, something Epps’ family objected to.

“Azia loved her son’s to death. That’s all she had. She took good care of him, not way she would let him get into contact with a gun, period, or any weapon of that type, period,” said Epps’ aunt Malea Liggins.

St. Louis County Police said they have turned the case over to prosecutors, who are taking the case under advisement. Prosecutors said there is insufficient evidence to bring charges now.

One state lawmaker told News 4 Missouri does not have a law that specifically places criminal liability on someone who stores firearms where children have easy access to it.

"In terms of guns in homes, how they're stored, law enforcement and prosecutors are sort of stuck," said Missouri State Senator Stacey Newman. "We do not have any child endangerment statutes that deal with guns."

St. Louis County Chief Jon Belmar said child endangerment charges could still be brought if evidence suggests an adult responsible for the gun was reckless.

The investigating is ongoing.

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