KANSAS CITY, MO – A 26-year-old convicted felon faced a judge on Thursday after his 4-year-old son found a gun inside his home and shot his 3-year-old sister.
Jessie Ross III is charged with second-degree child endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm. Ross made his first court appearance Thursday morning in Jackson County Circuit Court. Prosecutors are asking for a $100,000 bond.
The child endangerment charge is a misdemeanor. The firearm charge is a Class C felony.
The girl was shot on Jan. 7 inside a residence in the 3800 block of Chestnut Avenue. The boy told social workers that his father had hidden the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson behind a mirror. The boy said he climbed up the dresser and got it.
According to court records, Ross denied knowing that the gun was inside the residence and said it was not his. He said he did not place it behind the mirror.
The children’s mother said she had put the children down for a nap in a bedroom, and then she laid down to take a nap herself in another room. She said she and her adult roommate woke up just before 12:30 p.m. to the sound of a gunshot.
Tariyah Davis had been shot in the stomach. The mother told detectives that she had argued with Ross on New Year’s Eve about having a gun in the house where his children live. She said Ross told her that he was temporarily holding for a “homie,” and she thought he had returned the handgun on Jan. 4.
Tariyah’s brother told social workers that his father had shown him guns and that his father “got a real gun from Santa” for Christmas. He said his father had put the gun behind the mirror “on a big shelf.”
He said he used a chair to climb up and get the gun. The boy told social workers that the gun made fire.
“D.C. stated the gun is black and brown and it felt like fire coming out. He said fire came out of the gun,” according to court records. “He pressed a button then fire came out. After he got the gun down from the mirror, he pulled the button and fire came out and the fire went into T.D. (his sister). T.D. was on the bed and after she was shot T.D. began to cry.”
The boy told social workers that this wasn’t the first time he had played with the gun. Detectives responding to the scene retrieved the gun.
In 2008, Ross was convicted of second-degree robbery, and was given a seven-year prison sentence. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and parental kidnapping, and his sentence was suspended.
By DeAnn Smitth, KCTV