BURNEY, Calif. - A Shasta County father will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon for child endangerment after an accidental shooting at his home.
Detectives said the Burney man had left a loaded weapon near his three small children. His 5-year-old son accidentally fired the sawed-off shotgun, injuring his 4-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother.
Wednesday morning detectives released new details about the events that led to the arrest of Kevin Venia, 30 of Burney. They said he initially misled investigators about owning the weapon.
The two children are being treated at U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The Shasta County Sheriff's Office said the children were in serious condition, but the hospital did not release updated information on their condition Wednesday morning.
The incident happened Monday morning at Venia's home at 37126 Highway 299 in Burney. The Shasta County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit along with the Burney detective completed interviews in this case. They learned that Venia had a sawed-off shotgun in his residence for a couple of weeks.
On Monday, he took the shotgun off of a shelf and began to play with it in front of his children. According to investigators, he then placed the loaded shotgun onto an ottoman where his kids were playing.
Venia then left the residence leaving the kids alone with the shotgun in reach. After a short time, the shotgun fired severely injuring the 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy. Through statements of the 5-year-old son and his mother, it is believed that the 5 year old child got a hold of the shotgun and accidentally shot his siblings.
It appears that only one round was fired from the shotgun which was a 12 gauge. In the early stages of the investigation, deputies said Venia denied having a shotgun in the house and soon asked for an Attorney during his interview with Detectives.
A half-brother to Kevin Venia, Ridge Gigax, was also present during this incident and told detectives that Kevin did in fact have a shotgun in the house and placed it in harms way of the children.
Further investigation led to the location of the shotgun which was located near Venia's residence. The shotgun was located by Warden Boyd of the Department of Fish and Game, using a K-9. The shotgun located was identified as the same shotgun that Kevin Venia had placed near his children.
The children's mother, Rose Williams, told KRCR News Channel 7 she was not there when the shooting happened. She said she had left to get lunch for the children. She also briefly stopped at a friend's house. When she returned, she found two of her children badly injured.
"I didn't even have my door cracked and Kevin was handing me my baby girl and she was bloody and she had a hole through her elbow and part of her thigh was missing," said Williams.
"My heart and my body is just so messed up that I don't know what to think what to do because no one will tell me the truth I don't know nothing I just know that that's the way my little girl looked when he handed me to her."
Kevin Venia remains in jail for felony Child Endangerment with a $500,000 bail.
The two children remain in the hospital recovering from their wounds. The 5-year-old boy was not injured and was taken into protective custody.
The Shasta County Sheriff's Office would like to remind the citizens of Shasta County to take preventive measures to keep all firearms out of the reach of children.