BEECH GROVE, Ind. (Court TV) — An Indiana man has been arrested and faces neglect charges after a toddler was captured on security camera footage wielding a loaded handgun.
Shane Osborne, 45, is charged with dangerous control of a firearm (providing a firearm to a child) and two counts of neglect of a dependent.
On January 14, 2023, Beech Grove police were dispatched to a local apartment complex after a neighbor called 911 reporting an armed child outside her apartment. The boy, wearing only a diaper, was reportedly standing in the corridor holding a chrome handgun and pointing it at people, according to the police report.
Neighbors led the officers to the apartment of Shane Osborne, who was caring for the four-year-old boy whose mother was sick at the time. Osborne told police he was also sick and sleeping when the child wandered out of the apartment without him knowing. After initially denying knowledge of a gun, police then obtained security footage of the incident from a neighbor which corroborated the complaint.
After uneventfully searching Osborne’s apartment, police asked the child where he put his toy, while displaying his hand in the form of a gun. The boy pointed to a roll-top desk in the living room and said, “pew pew”, while motioning toward the desk. Inside, they found a 9mm handgun containing 15 live rounds. There was no live round in the chamber, according to the report.
Osborne told police the gun belonged to his cousin, who sometimes left the gun in his apartment when he felt mentally unstable. Osborne told the officers he did not own any firearms because he had prior felony convictions.
The officers arrested Osborne and transported him to the Marion County Jail. The boy was returned to his mother’s home.
According to court documents, Osborne had prior arrests in 10 different Indiana counties, 7 of which he was convicted.
“Far too often we see cases involving small children having access to firearms. Too many children in our community are placed at risk as a result of irresponsible gun ownership. The alleged conduct is an egregious example of the importance of practicing safe storage,” Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a statement Thursday.
Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley released the following statement after seeing the footage released by the police department.
“I received notification from our Police Chief soon after this incident took place.
As with all of you, I’m mortified and what took place and I’m so thankful that no one was hurt, especially the young child.
I appreciate the quick action taken by the Beech Grove Police Department to secure the small child and the gun in question.
I ask that the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office work tirelessly to secure charges and a conviction against the responsible parties, with maximum penalties.”
Society shouldn’t accept anything less.