Mother's Boyfriend Arrested After Wichita Toddler Shot Dead

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE)— Wichita Police have released new information into the shooting death of a young child in south Wichita, and the arrest of his mother's boyfriend.

Officers were called to a home near Lincoln and Emporia around 5 p.m. Tuesday. When they arrived, they found a three-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken by EMS to a local hospital, but died during surgery about an hour later.

He's been identified as Jahmez Hunt. According to police, the child's mother and her boyfriend were sleeping when the shooting occurred.

The boy was one of 4 children in the home, which also included another boy, 7, and two girls, ages 6 and 8. Police said that while they were playing earlier in the day, one of them found a handgun in a cabinet above the refrigerator in the kitchen and showed it to the others.

Later, the three-year-old went back to the kitchen and used a chair to get onto the counter. He retrieved the gun from above the refrigerator and shot himself. The seven-year-old was also in the kitchen at the time, while the other children were playing in a back bedroom.

The child's mother woke to the sound of the gunshot, found her son injured and called 911.

Police have since arrested the mother's boyfriend, 30-year-old Mario T. Benjamin, who owned the gun. He was booked Tuesday night for criminal possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. Records show Benjamin has previously served time for aggravated assault and domestic battery.

The child's mother has not been arrested. Police said Wednesday morning that she was unaware the gun was in the house.

Posted by Greg Palmer