LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) A four-year-old boy is dead after Lafayette Police say he shot himself with an unsecured gun he found in his motel room.
Police were called to the 1300 block of NE Evangeline Thruway around 5:30 p.m. Saturday regarding a toddler with a gunshot wound.
When they arrived, police found an unresponsive child, later identified as Princeston Mace Copeland, who was taken to a hospital where he later died.
Tonight, the toddler’s mother is responding to earlier allegations made by his father.
Copeland’s mother, Keeira Leon, says she had just stepped away from the room due to poor Wi-Fi to order food for her children.
During that time, she says, Copeland found her loaded handgun which was hidden under the sheets.
Police said evidence seems to point to the boy pulling the trigger and being hit by one bullet.
“I just want everyone to know that this was a big mistake, and I just wish my child would still be here. I wish. I have a lot of regret. I just wish that it would not have happened. I wish I would still have my son here.”
Having recently been evicted from her apartment for non-payment of rent, Leon says she wasn’t planning on staying at the motel for a long time.
“I just got a job and I was about to work my way up to get us into a new place.”
Earlier tonight, the child’s father, said negligence on the mother’s part played a major role in the unfortunate incident.
In a response, Leon said, “I don’t have anything to say besides the cameras don’t lie. They (the police) pulled up the cameras.”
Police Spokesperson Sgt. Robin Green says the shooting has been ruled accidental.
“My son was just so beautiful. The biggest, most beautiful smile ever. He was a Christmas baby. I just miss my son so much. He was full of life. All he did was smile.”