Charges filed against mother, mother's boyfriend in shooting that injured 4-year-old
Terry Nailon, the child's mother, has been charged with neglect of a dependent, neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, animal cruelty and assisting a criminal.
Rickey Lamont Williams, Nailon's boyfriend, has been charged with neglect of a dependent level 6 felony and neglect of a dependent level 3 felony.
On October 5, South Bend Police responded to a home in the 1100 block of Queen Street for reports of a possible shooting victim inside the residence.
Medics knocked on the door but there was no answer.
An officer in uniform went around to the back of the house and located an adult on the back porch. When the person saw the officer, he went back into the house and tried to shut the back door, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The officer identified himself and asked the person to open the door. The person, later identified as Rickey Williams, slammed the door shut, reports said.
Another officer joined the medics at the front door and learned a 4-year-old shooting victim was inside the home.
Nailon, the victim's mother, was at the front door and refused to allow police or medics inside the home to help the child, according to the probable cause affidavit.
After additional officers arrived on scene, one of the officers convinced Nailon to come out of the house.
Nailon said her 4-year-od son had been shot in the foot and she wanted to take him to the hospital, reports said. She did not explain why she did not want medics to treat him, reports said.
The officers went inside the home to get the injured child when they encountered Williams holding the injured boy, and a 5-year-old boy. Both children were crying hysterically, police said.
The victim was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound. The angle of the wound indicated the injury was self-inflicted, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Police obtained a search warrant for the home and located evidence, including a child's bloody sock. They also located a Ruger 57 5.7 caliber handgun wrapped in a t-shirt, hidden in the grill in the back yard, reports said.
While conducting the search, officers also located a dog in a metal cage on the front porch. The dog was emaciated, almost skeletal, police said. The dog was taken to South Bend Animal Control where a preliminary exam revealed the dog had not been fed for a week or more, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Williams and Nailon were taken to the South Bend Police Department where they both agreed to speak with officers.
Williams said he lived with Nailon, but was not the biological father of any of her children, but he takes care of them. He said before the shooting he had been with a prostitute for approximately 9 hours and had arrived home after the shooting but before police arrived.
Williams said he didn't know anything about guns in the house, but later admitted to seeing a handgun after the shooting, reports said.
Nailon said Williams' friend left the gun at the home a couple weeks ago. She said she believed it was loaded and decided to keep it for protection, reports said.
The day before the shooting, she put the gun between the cushions in the couch in the living room, reports said.
Nailon said the morning of the shooting she got up to get her two older children ready for school, then went back to bed after they got on the school bus, reports said.
Something woke Nailon up and she found the victim bleeding. The 5-year-old child told Nailon the 4-year-old shot himself, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Nailon then called her step-mother because she didn't know what to tell police, reports said.
She then called her sister, who may have called police, reports said.
Nailon said she apologized to Williams because she would have to contact police. She was sorry because he is on federal supervised release and could get into trouble, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Nailon told Williams she would move the gun so he wouldn't get in trouble, reports said.
Nailon later admitted Williams had been in the house before and at the time of the shooting and he had taken the gun out of the house to hide it, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Information from Nailon's cell phone showed 30 minutes elapsed between the time Nailon first called family members for advice and when the victim received medical attention from medics on scene, according to the probable cause affidavit.