King Penro : “3-year-old Merrillville boy dies from accidental gunshot; family cooperates with investigation”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Tragic Accident Claims the Life of a 3-Year-Old Boy in Merrillville

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – In a devastating incident, a 3-year-old boy from Merrillville lost his life due to an unfortunate gunshot wound, which the police are labeling as “accidental.” Authorities were alerted to the distressing scene at approximately 5:45 p.m. on December 4th. Responding swiftly, Merrillville Cmdr. Matt Vasel confirmed that the victim was a young boy named King Penro, according to an update.

Medical professionals, arriving at the location before law enforcement, immediately began rendering aid to the young victim. Despite their best efforts, the boy was later pronounced dead by hospital doctors, leaving the community in shock and grief-stricken.

During the investigation, the police retrieved a handgun from which a single round had been discharged. While the authorities are still piecing together the details, preliminary findings suggest that the shooting was accidental. However, it remains unclear whether the boy himself or someone else discharged the weapon. In the wake of this tragedy, family members are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation, stated Cmdr. Vasel.

Acknowledging the importance of firearm safety, the police department emphasized their commitment to ensuring the well-being of the community. They urged residents to take gun safety seriously and reminded them that gun locks are readily available at the local police department for those in need.

Detective E. Meyer, who is spearheading the investigation, has appealed to the public for any information regarding the incident. Individuals with relevant details are encouraged to contact Detective Meyer via email at or by calling 219-769-3531 ext. 354. Alternatively, anonymous tips can be submitted to Once the investigation concludes, the case will be presented to the Lake County Prosecutor’s office, Cmdr. Vasel affirmed.

This tragic incident is not an isolated occurrence in the region. In recent months, the neighboring city of Gary has witnessed three separate incidents involving toddlers accessing loaded firearms, resulting in the deaths of two victims. On November 17th, a 2-year-old boy tragically lost his life after his 3-year-old brother discovered a gun in their mother’s purse. Similarly, on August 30th, 5-year-old Edan Johnson from Chicago was fatally shot while visiting relatives. Lastly, on September 12th, a 4-year-old accidentally shot himself after finding his mother’s gun inside her purse in a closet.

As the community mourns the loss of King Penro, the incident serves as a grave reminder of the urgent need for responsible firearm ownership and heightened vigilance to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

Michelle L. Quinn, a dedicated freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune, contributed to this report.

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