Details in a case involving a child who was shot in the head in January were presented Thursday afternoon in Meridian municipal court.
The case involves a Jan. 14 incident involving a 9-year-old girl who was shot by her 8-year-old cousin when they were left unsupervised in a home in the 2100 block of Ninth Avenue, police said.
Angela Shantel Chaney, 29, the mother of the 8-year-old, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a child, police said. Chaney lived in the home, police said.
Two other children, ages 5 and 7, were also in the home when the shooting occurred, according to police.
The 9-year old was treated at Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson, where she was taken after first being taken to a hospital in Meridian after the shooting, according to police. That child is recovering at home, police said.
The 8-year-old who committed the shooting is in the custody of Child Protective Services until Angela Chaney meets all requirements established by Department of Human Services, police said Thursday evening.
MPD Detective Edwin Laws said in court Thursday that the children were left unsupervised for about 20 minutes when the shooting took place.
Laws said the shooting happened on the living room couch, but the weapon was found in a bedroom. Investigators found an unlocked gun lockbox on a 76-inch bookshelf in the bedroom, he said.
MPD Detective Rochester Anderson said in court that the children were playing hide-and-seek when the 8-year-old found the gun. Anderson said the child likely used a chair to get the lockbox down from the shelf. The child thought money was in the box, but found the gun instead, he said.
Robin Chaney, Angela Chaney's mother, said in court that she was driving to the house to pick up children when she got a call that a child had been shot. Robin Chaney said that when her daughter was in class, the children were left unattended until she arrived.
Angela Chaney's attorney, Joseph Denson, provided a video statement to the court detailing the timeline of the evening's events. In the video, Angela Chaney stated that she was on her way to class at MSU-Meridian when she got a text message that her niece had been shot. She said she kept the gun in a high place so the children would not find it.
Denson asked for the case to be dropped, but the request was denied by Judge John Howell.
The case is now headed to a grand jury. Angela Chaney is out on a $10,000 bond.
The police department urges the public to secure all firearms properly with locks, especially in homes with children. The department has free gun locks available at the front desk of MPD headquarters, police said.