LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - The mother of a 2-year-old boy fatally shot in Lancaster Monday had prior knowledge that a loaded and unsecured gun was nearby, according to an affidavit recently released.
Toni Gladden, 26, and her boyfriend, 18-year-old Shazeem Hayes, were charged after Gladden's son, Jacarion Gladden, died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
"Gladden knowingly allowed her boyfriend to have an unsecured loaded firearm around her children, placing the child at unreasonable risk or harm affecting the child's life physical or mental health or safety, subsequently leading to his death," the affidavit states.
Gladden and Hayes were both charged with unlawful conduct of a child in the case.
"Gladden's boyfriend gave a verbal statement to investigators that Gladden had prior knowledge that he often keeps his gun on the table next to the couch in the living room while her two young children are in the home," the affidavit states.
Hayes put his loaded 9 mm handgun in the living room and walked away, according to the affidavit. That's when a gunshot was reportedly heard inside the home, located in the 500 block of East Dunlap Street.
Gladden and Hayes went into the living room and found Jacarion lying on the couch with a gunshot wound to his chest, the affidavit says. They attempted to drive Jacarion to Springs Memorial Hospital but reportedly crashed the car on the way.
A neighbor and family member of the toddler told WBTV she saw the boy, his mother, and his 4-year-old sister rushing to the hospital after the shooting.
"The parent was on the passenger side and was like 'open your eyes, open your eyes' that's all I could hear from a distance," she said.
The affidavit also says that Gladden withheld pertinent information pertaining to the death of Jacarion, based information provided during the investigation.
Gladden was additionally charged with misprision of a felony.