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Charges filed in fatal shooting of 3-year-old

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 8:27 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - More information is released about last month’s shooting on Rockford’s northwest side that killed a 3-year-old boy. Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross announces charges and has a firm message for the community.

“If you are a legal gun owner please please please if you need child locks, contact the Rockford police department," Hite Ross said.

A plea for the community to lock up guns as Hite Ross releases details and new charges stemming from an October 15th shooting that killed a 3-year-old boy.

25-year-old Octtayges Shanklin faces seven different felony charges, including aggravated discharge of a firearm. Shanklin could spend up to 73 years in prison. Hite Ross says the shooting could have been prevented.

“If you have a gun that’s stored in your home that’s loaded assume that a child may find it, and may discharge it doesn’t take a lot of pressure to discharge a firearm,” Hite Ross said.

Rockford Police chief Dan O’Shea says gun safety is extremely important and whether the weapon is legal or illegal using proper child locks is vital to saving lives.

“Gun safety with legal gun ownership is imperative. It’s also imperative with illegal gun ownership," O’Shea said. "We have a lot of illegal guns that are out in this community. You know for what it’s worth lock them up to so a child doesn’t get killed.”

Hite Ross and O’Shea say they want to prevent child-related shootings at all costs, and sorting through the details of a case like this can be extremely difficult.

“It stays with you it’s something that you think about all the time even though you’re not related to that child," Hite Ross said.

“There is nothing more horrific than having a child accidentally be killed by a firearm," O’Shea said.

Hite Ross says more than 75% of first and second graders know where their parents keep their guns and 36% admit to handling it at some point.

Hite Ross also referenced resources for people who may need information on gun safety. Access the resources here.

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