How did a 7-year-old boy get a gun and shoot himself in the hand? Here’s what Chicago police say

CHICAGO — How in the world did a 7-year-old get their hands on a firearm? And why didn’t the police arrest anyone? Those were a couple of the questions we had after reading a Chicago Tribune report about a 7-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself in the hand last week.

As it turns out, contrary to what the Chicago Police Department told the media, officers did arrest someone. And the answer to our other question was found in the arrest report.

The boy was in a bedroom in an apartment building in the 4300 block of West North Avenue when he accidentally shot himself in the left hand, a CPD media statement said. EMS took him to Stroger Hospital in good condition.

Police arrested the boy’s father, 33-year-old Eddie Bowling, at the scene, the CPD report said. He works as an armed security guard, the report said.


Bowling was in the living room with his 3-year-old daughter last Thursday evening when “all of a sudden he heard a gunshot,” the report stated.

He found his 7-year-old son injured, with a gunshot wound to the left middle finger. Police said they found a .45-caliber shell casing in the apartment.

How did the boy get access to a firearm?

According to the arrest report, Bowling “stored his weapons in his children’s room, unlocked, accessible to both his 3-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.”

Cops seized two pistols—a.45 caliber and a 9-millimeter—from the home, CPD inventory records show.

Prosecutors charged Bowling with two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment. Judge Maryam Ahmad released him on his own recognizance.

The arrest report said that CPD released the children to the care of their biological mother and notified the Department of Children and Family Services about the incident.

Last year, officials said an 8-year-old Uptown boy found a 9-millimeter handgun under his mother’s bed and took it to class at Walt Disney Magnet School.

The gun fired as the boy showed it to a classmate, and a bullet ricocheted off a classroom floor, causing graze wounds to a 7-year-old boy’s stomach area and upper lip, city documents said.

Like Bowling, the boy’s mother was charged with child endangerment. She received probation in April.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is