A U.S. Army Reserve specialist was fatally shot by her 3-year-old son in their home Monday, the Tulsa World reports. The boy shot Christa Engles, 26, in the head while she appeared to be changing her daughter's diaper in their living room. Detectives believe the boy picked up a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun from the low-lying table near the couch while his mother was distracted and accidentally fired at her.
The Engles' children have been turned over to family members, police said, but a Tulsa-based expert in child behavior said their healing process has only just begun. Child specialists interviewed the toddler about the incident and a police officer said the boy “confirmed what the evidence led investigators to assume.” The National Safety Council says fatal firearms accidents among all age groups have dropped 31 percent between 1998 and 2012, and comprise less than 1 percent of fatal accidents in the United States. Bill Brassard of Project ChildSafe, said fatal firearms accidents such as Christa Engles', while “historically low,” are always a tragedy because they are easily preventable.