Father charged after 5-year-old shoots self in face in Randleman

RANDLEMAN, N.C. -- Charges have been filed against a father after his 5-year-old son found a gun and shot himself him in the face in Randleman, according to a news release from Randleman police.

Randy Christopher Brower

Randy Christopher Brower, 26, of Kernersville, is charged with negligent child abuse causing serious bodily injury and failure to store a firearm to protect a minor.

Jayden Brower remains in critical condition at Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem.

Randleman police were called to 1029 High Point St. shortly after 12:45 p.m. on Dec. 30 in reference to the shooting.

Jayden was in a booster seat and unbuckled himself as his mother pulled up to the Wendy's drive-thru, according to Randleman police.

The child was able to get a .45 semi-automatic handgun from a pocket on the back of the front passenger seat. Police said the gun went off and the child was shot in the face.

"I usually keep [the gun] ... on the driver’s side. So when I was vacuuming I didn’t want anybody to pull up, other people were pulling up so I just grabbed the gun," Brower told FOX8 in an interview recently, explaining when he put the gun in the pocket on the back of the passenger seat.

"When my kids are in the car, it’s not even reachable. I was in the car by myself when I was vacuuming so I felt comfortable putting it right there," he said.

After that, Brower says nobody drove the car for days -- until his girlfriend drove it Sunday.

"When she left to go get the things she needed to get, I wasn’t even thinking because I was so focused on my younger son," he said.

He said he hopes others can learn from the accident.

"A gun holder or whoever has one, just to be more cautious and be more alert," he said. "It’s small things that can happen. You can forget something and it turn into something major. My whole family is hurting from this situation. And I don’t want anyone else to go through what my family is going through right now."

Brower said during the interview that he was ready to deal with what comes his way regarding charges.

On Friday afternoon, Brower released the following statement to FOX8:

“It’s the protocol, and I fully understand and am prepared to face anything I need to in order to be able to continue to raise my family. All I want is for everyone to pray for my son, and continue to ask God to bring him back stronger than before. Jayden is fighting for us. I love my family and I appreciate everyone who continues to support us. Prayers for Jayden.”

Brower was given a $50,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 14.

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