REDDING, Calif. -

The Burney man charged with willful cruelty to a child after leaving his shotgun out in the open made his first court appearance.

29-year-old Kevin Venia was arraigned in a Shasta County courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators said he left a loaded shotgun where his young children could get to it.

Based on interviews, they believe his 5-year-old son, Dominic, accidentally fired the gun, hitting two-year-old Toby and four-year-old Zoe.

Investigators said at first, he misled them about owning the gun. It was eventually found near Venia's house.

The two toddlers are in serious condition at UC Davis medical center in Sacramento.

The five year old is in protective custody.

The children's mother, Rose Williams, said she was out getting lunch for her kids when the gun went off on Monday.

While in court, Venia tried covering his face.

He is being held on $500,000 bail and is scheduled back in court on November 28th.