NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A father has been charged after his 18-month-old son was grazed in the face by a bullet early Wednesday morning in East Nashville.
Officers were called to the Krystal parking lot of West Trinity Lane around 2 a.m. where first responders found the child, who was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
Police said they spoke with the child’s father, Tommy Washington, who told them he had given the boy and three other children a bath at a home on Summer Place when he set the child down on a bed near where he had placed two pistols.
Washington reportedly told authorities he walked back into the bathroom to drain the tub when he heard a gunshot and found the toddler with a gunshot wound to the face.
Police said the father asked his neighbor to ride with him to the hospital, but on the way to TriStar Skyline Medical Center, his van began to overheat. Washington got off at Trinity Lane and stopped at the Krystal where he called for help.
Washington was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with aggravated child neglect.
The child’s grandmother told News 2 it was a “freak accident” and that her son is a “loving, caring” father of four. She said her grandson was grazed in the cheek by the bullet but also suffered a wound to his finger.
“To hear something like that about my neighbor is just almost unbelievable. It’s just like, how can something like this happen? He’s a good father. He’s always around his kids – morning to night. He would never do anything intentionally to hurt his kids,” neighbor Kierra Hayes said.
When police cleared the scene after an estimated nine hours, a biohazard notice was posted on the front door warning people to use caution if they go inside because of blood or other potentially infectious material.
Detectives seized two guns from the residence, a .380 pistol believed to have wounded the child, and a .45 caliber pistol.
The investigation is ongoing. The Department of Children’s Services was notified of the incident.