Police: Boy, 4, fatally shoots himself in stomach with alleged stolen gun; father charged

The shooting happened in northwest Houston Sunday morning

February 24, 2013 7:49:22 PM PST
The father of a four-year-old boy is facing charges after Houston police say the child fatally shot himself Sunday morning with a stolen gun.

It happened at an apartment on Northborough Drive off West Rankin Road around 8:15am.

According to the Houston Police Department, 20-year-old Marquiez Pratt was asleep when his son shot himself with a stolen gun.

"This is not the case of a responsible homeowner having a weapon for protection," HPD Sgt. Brian Harris said. "This is the case of a person who has drugs in the home, has a stolen gun and is asleep."

Four-year-old Jaiden Pratt Calloway was spending the weekend with his father as he regularly did. Jaiden's mother had planned to pick him up at noon Sunday, but the boy accidentally shot himself in the stomach, according to police. He died at the scene.

Pratt reportedly woke up to the sound of the gunshot and immediately ran outside to call police.

"The father was carrying the boy in his arms, pleading for help, screaming, running around," HPD Sgt. Brian Harris said. "And even in his utterances -- 'I messed up; I messed up' -- he acknowledges that it was stupid.

Officers arrived and began performing CPR, but Pratt suddenly ran upstairs, ignoring officers' commands to stop.

According to Harris, the Glock .40-caliber handgun that Jaiden hot himself with was stolen during a 2011 burglary. Investigators said they also found crack cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in the apartment.

Pratt was barefoot with a puzzled look on his face as was led into a patrol car. He was charged with endangering a child and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute -- both felonies.

"The father, Marquiez Pratt, there's no doubt that he loves his son," Harris said. "He's in mourning and he's in pain, and he feels a lot of self-guilt for all this."

Pratt was in jail Sunday. No bond has been set yet and a court date is pending.

Pratt reportedly told officers he burglarized drug dealers to support his family, but he raised Jaiden to know not to play with guns and drugs.

Meanwhile, police were forced to call extra security to calm down neighbors and family members.

"Beautiful young boy, four years of age, very healthy," Harris said. "Other than the circumstances, it seems to be fairly decent living conditions and very healthy young boy. Just a tragic, tragic story."

Stay with abc13.com and Eyewitness News for the latest on this developing story.

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