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Ky. Boy, 2, Is Fatally Shot by His 3-Year-Old Brother, and Parents Face Charges

Selena Farrell, 23, and Tashaun Adams, 21, were arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter

<p>Kenton County Detention Center</p> Selena Farrell and Taushan Adams

Kenton County Detention Center

Selena Farrell and Taushan Adams

The parents of a 2-year-old Kentucky boy are facing criminal charges after the toddler’s older brother fatally shot him with a gun authorities allege the parents failed to secure.

On Jan. 25, Selena Farrell, 23, and Tashaun Adams, 21, were arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter, according to Kenton County jail records. Farrell also faces charges of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, abandonment of a minor and a probation violation for a felony offense, the records show.

According to court records cited by Fox19, the couple’s 3-year-old son got hold of an unsecured loaded gun and fatally shot his 2-year-old brother on Jan. 22 inside their home in Latonia, a neighborhood in Covington.

A criminal complaint obtained by KPTV states that Adams called 911 after finding the victim bleeding profusely. The boy, identified by authorities as Khalil Adams, died at a local hospital and the handgun was found “discarded in some bar-b-q on the stove,” according to the complaint.

At a Friday press conference, Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said the owner of the gun is Farrell, who bought it from a federally licensed dealer. She allegedly fled after the shooting and was found in a Boone County hotel room with Adams after authorities tracked her down due to a probation violation, Sanders said. Sanders believes Farrell purchased the gun prior to her felony conviction.

Also inside the room was a third suspect, identified by KPTV as 20-year-old Jeremiah Thomas, who has been charged with hindering prosecution.

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Sanders told reporters that the third suspect was inside the home at the time of the shooting but was not in the same room. It’s unclear if he has entered a plea but KPTV reports, citing jail records, that he has been released from custody.

Sanders said at the press conference that no gun locks or safes were found inside the home, and also told reporters that the couple said they had the gun “for protection.”

Farrell has pleaded not guilty to the charges related to her son’s death, KPTV reports, citing court records. It’s unclear if Adams has entered a plea. PEOPLE couldn’t immediately identify attorneys who could speak on behalf of Farrell or Adams.

For more information on safe firearm storage and the most effective ways to protect children from unsecured firearms, visit BeSMARTforkids.org.

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