A Minneapolis man is charged with child endangerment after authorities say he left a gun out on the window sill before a 2-year-old was shot in the face.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office filed criminal charges against 36-year-old Kendall Hampton Wednesday, two days after the shooting at a Minneapolis apartment. The toddler was struck in the face around 4:30 a.m. Monday and taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The boy has since been upgraded to stable. Hampton and a woman were watching the child while his mother was at work, the charges say.
The complaint alleges Hampton, after being arrested, admitted to police he was in the same room as the 2-year-old when the shooting happened. Hampton said he'd been drinking the night before and, when he went to sleep, left his gun on the window sill — even though the woman, also in the room at the time, had urged him to put it higher up, out of the reach of any children, according to the charges.
The woman told police she woke up to the 2-year-old screaming and crying, and quickly noticed he had a serious injury. The boy, according to the charges, suffered a "through and through gunshot wound" to his left cheek area.
Hampton told police he was sleeping and didn't know how the boy ended up shot, the charges state.
It was the woman who called 911, with police arriving on the scene to find Hampton in the lobby, according to the complaint. He was told to stay put but instead fled the scene, and for a time refused to return and wouldn't answer any questions regarding his location over the phone.
Police said they arrested him Monday night. He also admitted to investigators that, after the shooting, he went to the third floor and dropped the weapon outside of another door as he wasn't supposed to be around guns, the charges allege. Investigators did find a firearm there.
Hampton is barred from possessing a gun because of a prior second-degree burglary conviction from 2014.
Hampton is charged with felony child endangerment and illegal possession of a firearm, also a felony. He's scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.