A 26-year-old Milwaukee woman was shot Tuesday morning as she drove down a Wisconsin highway. The person who pulled the trigger in the fatal shooting of Patrice Price, authorities believe, was Price’s toddler, who found a firearm in the car.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday identified Price as the victim in the incident. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release.
“According to witness accounts, Price’s 2 ½-year-old child was in the back seat, retrieved a firearm that slid out from under the driver’s seat and shot through the seat, striking the driver,” the release stated. “The driver’s mother and one-year-old child were in the front passenger seat.”
Price’s father, Andre Price, told WISN, an ABC affiliate, that his daughter was dating a security guard and was driving that man’s car when the shooting occurred.
“My chest has been hurting,” Andre Price told the station. “I’ve got a knot in my chest.”
Deputies discovered a gun belt on “the floor of the front passenger seat,” according to the release. That gun belt belonged to Price’s boyfriend. The firearm was located behind the driver’s seat, the release stated.
“She was the best mom for her kids, put clothes on their back,” Price’s brother, Antonio, told the Associated Press. “When I needed her, she always cared for me and gave me great advice.”
The shooting comes just days after a 2-year-old boy in Indiana fatally shot himself after finding a gun in his mother’s purse. In that incident, the boy got hold of the firearm when his mother “momentarily stepped away,” leaving her purse on the kitchen counter, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release.
According to data from the gun-control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, more than 70 children under the age of 18 have unintentionally shot themselves or another person this year.
Included in that count is a 4-year-old boy whose mother had bragged on social media that he “gets jacked up to target shoot.” The child later found a gun in the vehicle that the woman was driving and fired. The woman was shot in the back.
In 2014, The Washington Post’s Mark Berman took a look at how many children across the country have been involved in unintentional shootings. But he found that the data on the incidents was somewhat murky.
“We know how many times children die each year as a result of gun deaths,” Jon S. Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said at the time. “We don’t know how many times children pull the trigger and someone dies.”