LEBLEU SETTLEMENT, LA (AP) - A 3-year-old LeBleu Settlement child died at a local hospital Monday night following an accidental shooting at her home on Arsene Road, authorities said.
Family members have identified the child as 3-year-old Alexis Mercer. Services for Mercer will be handled by Johnson & Brown Funeral Home.
Visitation for Mercer will take place from 3-9 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home, followed by a mass at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Father Bennie Wego will officiate. Burial will follow the mass at LeFranc Cemetery.
"This is a moment as a Sheriff that I have to tell people, you have got to protect our children," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso in an interview with
Mancuso said the father had been cleaning his guns in the living room that day, while his wife and children were gone, and he did not put them up before leaving for work. When the mother returned home with the three children, ages 1-3, the 3-year-old girl was able to get one of the loaded guns, accidentally causing the gun to fire.
"It makes me angry," said Mancuso. "It makes my heart hurt. It's just something that shouldn't happen."
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Kim Myers said the other children were not injured. She says the assortment of guns included a rifle and two handguns and said the child most likely used the hand gun. Mancuso said incidents like this could have easily been avoided.