Document: 4-year-old boy accidentally shot toddler in face

Document: 4-year-old boy accidentally shot toddler in face
Source: Hopkins County Jail
David Whittick. (Source: Henderson County Jail)
David Whittick. (Source: Henderson County Jail)
Bryanna Timms. (Source: Henderson County Jail)
Bryanna Timms. (Source: Henderson County Jail)

HENDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The mother of a toddler who was shot last week in Henderson County, and the mother's boyfriend, were apprehended in Hopkins County Tuesday.

New documents released to KLTV Tuesday allege a four-year-old boy shot the toddler with a 22-caliber pistol. The boy got ahold of the pistol after his mother's boyfriend left it on a pillar in the home.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said Bryanna Timms, 34, and David Whittick, 33, were taken into custody near Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County late Tuesday after fleeing Henderson County to avoid arrest.

Hillhouse said a 21-month-old girl, who was originally reported to be 18 months old, was shot in her face at a home on Albany Drive in the Payne Springs area. She was taken to a hospital in Gun Barrel City, then to Children's Hospital in Dallas.

At the time of the shooting only the mother, the toddler, and another child were at the home.

Warrants for the couple's arrest were issued Tuesday morning, and the couple agreed to surrender that afternoon, according to Hillhouse.

"Instead, they decided to run," Hillhouse said. "So we tracked them down and they are in jail."

Sheriff Hillhouse said felony endangerment of a child and misdemeanor making a firearm accessible to a child charges have been levied, and all children at the home have been removed and are in foster care. Timms has also been charged with hindering apprehension.

According to the original petition for CPS custody provided to KLTV through the district clerk's office, an investigation revealed the girl's brother shot her while he was playing with the gun. The document states Whittick had left the pistol on a pillar with a bullet in the chamber. He said he had put a bullet in the gun after hearing a noise outside the prior weekend. He said he then set it on top of the pillar after returning from outside, according to the document. An investigator said this was not the first time the parents had to take a gun away from the 4-year-old.

The petition states the boy admitted to playing with the gun and shooting at the girl, though he did not mean to hurt her.

The petition concludes the children should be removed from custody because Whittick admitted to marijuana being in the home and because Timms and Whittick knowingly left a loaded gun accessible to the children.

According to an affidavit filed with the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office, Timms was stopped traveling north on State Highway 19, south of Sulphur Springs. She said she did not know where Whittick was, according to the affidavit. While she was being taken to jail, her GPS was sending alerts from her phone, so the deputy drove in the direction the GPS was directing until they arrived at a hotel. The affidavit states Timms said her mother got her a room and she did not think he was there. Deputies found him there and arrested him.

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