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article image3-year-old dies after mistaking gun for Wii controller

By Elliot Meszaros     Mar 10, 2010 in World
Tennessee - A toddler in the US has accidentally been killed after shooting herself with a pistol that she mistook for a Nintendo Wii controller.
Tennessee police are currently investigating into the incident that occurred on Saturday night when the toddler mixed up a Wii game with a .380 calibre pistol. 3-year-old Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan shot herself in the abdomen after picking the pistol up from a living room table, according to Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe.
Cheyenne was rushed to the University Medical Centre in Lebanon but was pronounced dead by Physicians shortly after her arrival.
The father of Cheyenne McKeehan, Douglas Cronberger, and the mother were inside their rural home in Norene when the child shot herself. The mother, Tina Ann Cronberger was on the computer just a few feet away, Ashe reported.
According to a statement issued from the Wilson County Sheriff’s office, the girl had learned how to fire the gun after becoming accustomed to firing a special Wii gun-shaped controller that she used to play a Nintendo Wii game.
The statement also reported that Mr Cronberger had picked up the gun that he usually kept unloaded in a cabinet, loaded it, and gone outside to look for a possible prowler he thought might have been there. When he came back in he put it on the end table and apparently forgot about it.
Ashe said that parents need to keep guns out of reach of their children, especially when there is such a similarity between actual guns and things such as Wii controllers.
"The big message we're trying to tell parents is if you've got a gun, put it up, especially if you have children," Ashe said. "If you have a live handgun and a toy that looks the same — for parents some bells and whistles need to go off,"
"You can see by the comparison of the toy weapon and the real weapon that there's little chance a three-year-old would differentiate between the two."
At present no criminal charges have been laid but information collected by the Sheriff’s office in the investigation will be given to prosecutors. The girl’s body was taken for an autopsy to the state medical examiner’s office on Monday.
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