Columbia SC, Parents Krystal Cato & Kartell Kershaw Arrested After Child Injured in Accidental Shooting

Columbia, SC (STL.News) The Columbia Police Department (CPD) has arrested two people in connection with the accidental shooting of a 6-year-old boy at a home in North Columbia.

According to Police Chief W. H. “Skip” Holbrook, the child’s mother, Krystal Cato (DOB: 2-14-1983) and Kartell Kershaw (DOB: 9-12-1984) are charged with Unlawful Conduct Toward a Child.  The couple is housed at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center (ASGDC).

The charges stem from an incident that initially occurred at an Alida Street home on August 12, 2020 but was unreported.  Last night, CPD investigators received a tip that a 6-year-old boy accidentally shot himself inside the home.

At approximately 10:30 last night (August 13, 2020), officers went to a home on the 100 block of Alida Street investigated the claim, collected evidence from the scene, and arrested the child’s mother and stepfather.

The child was taken to a local hospital by EMS and placed in emergency protective custody by the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS)

Preliminary findings: The child found a loaded and unsecured 9mm handgun inside a room of the home and accidentally shot himself in the right calf muscle.  While his injuries were not life-threatening, suspects Cato and Kershaw did not seek immediate professional medical attention for the child.  At the time of the shooting, both parents were not home, only a 14-year-old girl who did not witness the incident. CPD investigators believe that after the shooting, Kershaw gave the weapon to a friend.  The case is on-going and additional charges are possible.

All persons arrested/charged are presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Safety Tips:

  • Never leave a loaded and unsecured firearm within the reach of a child or vulnerable adult.
  • Properly secure your firearm with a gun lock and in a gun case or gun cabinet – CPD provides FREE gun locks.
  • Teach children about the dangers of firearms – Devise and explain a “Don’t touch” lesson for your family.