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Former police officer indicted after 3-year-old fatally shot himself

Jared Green
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Posted at 4:09 PM, Jun 09, 2023

HAMILTON, Ohio — A man is facing three charges after police claim his gun fell into the hands of a 3-year-old child who fatally shot himself.

Benjamin Bishop was indicted Friday and will face one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of endangering children and one count of reckless homicide.

According to Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser, the child, Jared Green, shot himself on March 30. Crews were called to a home on Park Avenue in Hamilton at around 7 p.m. where they found the boy with a gunshot wound on the side of his head.

Green's great uncle, Jim Ingram, said the family was largely kept in the dark as the investigation into the boy's death continued for more than two months.

"At this point, we're glad to hear something has finally come of this," Ingram said. "It's been two and a half months. We hadn't heard anything, didn't know anything."

Gmoser declined an on-camera interview as the case was still under review, but said he didn't believe Bishop had any intention of harming Green.

He did, however, say Bishop created the dangerous environment that allowed for Green's death by leaving a gun where the child could access it.

RELATED: 3-year-old dead; 911 caller says child was shot in the head

"That kid never should have been able to get ahold of it," Ingram said.

Gun safety instructors like Rufus Johnson said laws about gun safety storage are in place to send a message to everyone that leaving a firearm around near children is unacceptable.

He said cases like this should be prosecuted.

"I think that because it's not the child's fault," Johnson said. "It's the firearm owner's fault. They are responsible for ensuring that firearm is put away correctly and safely."

Johnson offered safety training and free gun locks and storage boxes through his website RealTruthInc.com.

Green was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital where he died on March 31, according to the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.

Bishop was formerly employed as a Centerville police officer, according to the Journal-News.

Lindsay Sheehan, assistant Butler County prosecutor, told the Journal-News Bishop's loaded gun was found unsecured on a window sill.

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