Father charged after 3-year-old son shoots 1-year-old sister

Author: Associated Press

VENICE, Fla. (AP) – A southwest Florida man faces a felony count of culpable negligence after authorities say he left a loaded firearm within easy reach of a his 3-year-old son, who shot his 1-year-old sister.

Reynold Franzen, 35, told detectives on Wednesday night that he left his handgun in the car when he went into a store, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reported. He then forgot about the gun.

Five days later, Franzen’s son found the gun while in the car in a preschool parking lot. While the mother was outside talking to another parent, the boy took the weapon from the glove compartment and fired a single shot, hitting his sister in the face.

The children’s mother, Rachel Franzen, had just buckled her children in after picking them up from the preschool, the sheriff’s office reported. Another parent approached her, and she walked about 10 feet from the passenger door.

The mother then heard a loud noise, which she at first thought was a blown transformer. She then heard her daughter crying and saw blood on the child’s face. Her son was holding the gun.

The Herald-Tribune (http://goo.gl/st1e9s) reports that the baby girl was treated at a hospital and has since been released.

If convicted, Franzen faces up to five years in prison. He was released from the Sarasota County jail on $1,500 bail.

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