California mother, teenage son arrested after toddler shot in back seat of car

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A San Bernardino woman and her teenage son were arrested on felony charges after her toddler was shot in the back seat of her vehicle by her teenage son. (San Bernardino Police Department)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KTLA) – A California mother and her teenage son have been arrested after the boy shot a loaded gun in the back seat of the mother’s vehicle, injuring a toddler Tuesday, police said.

Veronica Pyatt, 37, was driving as her 14-year-old son, who was “manipulating a loaded firearm” in the back seat, shot one round and hit his 20-month-old half-sibling in the leg, San Bernardino police said in a statement. 

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Though the teenager told his mother the gun had gone off, Pyatt continued driving to their home, where she then unloaded groceries, investigators said.

Once they were home, the teenager allegedly threw the weapon in the trash. Pyatt did not try to take the firearm from her son nor did she check on her children in the car, according to police. 

Officials said once inside, Pyatt’s son revealed that the toddler had been shot when the gun went off. 

The child was taken to a community hospital in San Bernardino, where staff notified police of the incident. The child was then taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, the police statement said. 

Pyatt and the 14-year-old were arrested on suspicion of multiple felony charges, though police did not specify which ones. Pyatt was taken to jail, while her son was taken to a juvenile detention center.

The case was turned over to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

The county Department of Child and Family Services were notified of the incident and is conducting its own investigation. 

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