SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith says arrests have been made in connection with at least one of the accidental shootings Friday of three young children in two separate incidents.
Chief Smith confirmed the arrest during a news conference Monday afternoon alongside Mayor Adrian Perkins, with both urging the public to take precautions to secure firearms in homes where children are present.
“Never should it be just another Monday where three children were shot in our community and it could have been avoided,” said Mayor Adrian Perkins. “We lost a four-year-old this weekend because of weapons that were unsecured. We cannot normalize this in our community.”
“Keep them up air, keep [firearms] behind locked doors,” Smith said. “Keep them in a gun safe. Store your weapons in a safe place that you are absolutely sure are out of reach of children. Keep them locked up. If you have weapons at your home, buy yourself a gun safe or gun cable, gun lock.”
Two toddlers were shot late Friday afternoon in Shreveport‘s Werner Park neighborhood. Police say one child was playing with a gun and discharged it. A four-year-old boy was shot in the chest and died. The three-year-old was taken to Oschner with a gunshot wound to their arm.
Earlier in the day, a toddler was wounded after finding a gun on the sofa and discharging the weapon, shooting himself in the leg. Smith said “several” arrests have been made in that case. He did not release any names or charges, but Shreveport police booking records show 21-year-old Traeveon Ashun Kavoris booked into the city jail on a charge of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile Friday night, noting that the “offender placed a gun on the couch where a minor grabbed it and accidentally shot himself in the thigh.”
The same booking records also show 22-year-old Amaury Monroe booked on the same charge, noting that she “noticed the firearm on the couch unattended and proceeded to another room.”
“We desire not to charge anybody, to put anybody in jail. But, you know, as a police department, we are going to enforce the law to the letter of the law,” Smith said. “What our intent is to try to make our community safer so no one has to be incarcerated. That is our main objective, is to keep our community safe. So help us to keep our community safe by taking all of the dangers out of the way of our young, innocent minds who don’t realize the extent, the damage that can be caused by a weapon. ”
Shreveport police are still actively investigating the second shooting in which the three and four-year-old were shot, along with the Caddo District Attorney’s Office, “so other information could be forthcoming in the near future.”
Smith also said it is traumatic for his officers along with EMS to witness.
“Not only do the family and the community feel the pain of a loss. But so do they. So do I,” Smith said.
He also encourages parents to take gun safety courses and hopes his officers do not have to respond to calls like this again.
“Let’s save our children. Let’s save ourselves. Let’s take dangerous items out of their reach.”
Perkins said he would be bringing a request to the council to fund free cables to the public to secure firearms in the home.
“Just like our firefighters go around we pout in smoke detectors in people’s homes, I think we are getting to the point where we probably need to offer free cables,” Perkins said. “We want no excuses in our community for incidences like this to happen.”