Grandmother arrested after toddler shot in chest

Grandmother charged in death of 3-year-old grandson

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A New Orleans East woman was jailed Wednesday after the gun under her pillow discharged, and the bullet hit her young grandson in the chest, killing him.

"I kept hearing Red Maple Drive, Red Maple Drive. I said, wait a minute," family friend John Culver said.

Culver couldn't believe what he was hearing on the morning news.

"I was shocked and I was like, that's Deonca's grandson," he said.

Deonca Kennedy's 3-year-old grandson died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

"There was a firearm under the pillow where the grandmother was sleeping next to her grandson. Somehow the gun discharged, striking the child. The child later expired at the hospital," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.

Police said Kennedy worked as a security guard and was the only other person in the house when the shooting happened. Culver said Kennedy often watched the little boy while her daughter was at work, and she loved him very much.

"I mean, she's a good person. She's good with her kids and her grandson. I mean, this is a very tragic thing for the family," Culver said.

The NOPD says they questioned Kennedy about what happened, but she was uncooperative and refused to give a statement to detectives. Kennedy was arrested a short time later for negligent homicide, second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and child desertion.

Police Chief Michael Harrison said the tragic incident should serve as a reminder about gun safety.

"We talk about gun safety and the importance of locking and securing your gun. When they are not cared for accidents like these happen," Harrison said.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Kennedy is set for a bond hearing this Friday.

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