Bakersfield man takes plea deal after son, 3, accidentally shot himself with illegally owned gun

Crime Watch

Shawndel Ziegler

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man whose 3-year-old son got hold of a gun in the house and accidentally shot himself has pleaded no contest to a felony charge.

Shawndel Ziegler Jr., 29, pleaded no contest Friday to willful cruelty to a child and three other felonies were dismissed. He’s expected to be sentenced to four years in prison at his Sept. 22 sentencing hearing.

Ziegler, a convicted felon, is prohibited from owning firearms. He told police he bought the 9mm handgun on the street.

The shooting happened April 24 at a home on P Street in central Bakersfield. Ziegler told police he was playing Playstation 5 and believed his son was being watched by a family member.

A loud noise startled him and he turned around to see they boy bleeding from his left leg, the gun lying next to him, according to court documents. The child was taken to a hospital where a doctor determined the round didn’t break bones or rupture major arteries.

Ziegler told police he usually kept the gun on the top shelf of a closet but the day of the shooting he put it in a plastic container on the kitchen table.

Ziegler has a prior felony conviction from 2014 for shooting at an occupied motor vehicle.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More Local News