Christian Lehl, 21, was babysitting his nieces and nephews, when he took out a loaded handgun and showed it to an 18-year-old friend. The handgun ‘just went off’ aka a negligent discharge, and the bullet buried itself in the arm of one of Lehl’s 12-year-old nieces in another room.
Thankfully, the young girl is expected to make a full recovery.
Wichita Police arrested Christian Lehl on his outstanding warrants and charged him with aggravated battery and aggravated weapons charges.
The 18-year-old was not arrested.
News reports do not specify what crimes Christian Lehl’s outstanding warrants were for, nor do they specify if the handgun was possessed legally.
Regardless of its legal status, residents in the Magnolia Woods Apartment complex where the shooting occurred are sick of the ongoing violence.
“A lot of people have moved out in the last 30 to 45 days,” Magnolia Woods resident Christina Reyes said. “My neighbor across the hall, two units upstairs and that’s just in my hallway that I know about. And I really don’t think I can stay after (Monday) night.”
For their part, Wichita Police are focusing on education to stem the tide of negligent discharges.
“We want to continue to educate the community and try to help keep educating so that we don’t have a death from an accidental gun discharge from negligent actions,” said Wichita Police Public Information Officer Charley Davidson.
Simple Firearm Safety Precautions
American and Canadian law differs dramatically on firearms and firearm safety for a variety of cultural and historical reasons. While safe storage laws typically don’t exist in the United States, the following firearm safety tips are aimed at parents with small children.
- If you own a firearm, please keep it stored where your child cannot access it.
- Store your firearm unloaded so, in the unlikely event your child does access your firearm, they can’t hurt themselves or others with it.
- Take a firearm safety class and educate yourself on the safe handling and safe storage of firearms.
- Teach your children what to do if they find a firearm. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle gun safety program for children is an excellent resource.
DOES YOUR CHILD KNOW WHAT TO DO IF HE OR SHE FINDS A GUN?
The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program is a gun accident prevention program that seeks to help parents, law enforcement, community groups and educators navigate a topic paramount to our children’s safety. Eddie and his Wing Team are on a mission to help you teach Pre-K through 4th graders what to do if they ever come across a gun…
This first step is crucial. Stopping first allows your child the time he or she needs to remember the rest of the safety instructions.
A firearm that is not touched or disturbed is unlikely to be fired and otherwise endanger your child or other people.
This removes the temptation to touch the firearm as well as the danger that another person may negligently cause it to fire.
Tell A Grown-up
Children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher – if a parent or guardian is not available.