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Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself

By sandymaple |

wii-guns-sm250Police in Wilson County, Tennessee say 3-year-old Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan learned to play shooting games on the family’s Wii game console using a controller that is designed to look like a real gun.

This familiarity with fake guns, they say, led the little girl to picked up a loaded .380 caliber pistol her stepfather had left on the living room table. 

Whether she truly thought it was a toy or was just being curious, what happened next is horrifying:  She shot herself in the stomach.  Cheyenne was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Physicians at University Medical Center in Lebanon.

Her parents, Douglas and Tina Ann Cronberger, say the gun is usually kept in a locked cabinet but had been brought out to scare off what they thought was an intruder outside.  No criminal charges have been filed, but the shooting is still under investigation.

Some people may use this tragedy as an example of why kids shouldn’t play shooting games.  That, of course, is ridiculous.  Shooting games didn’t cause this to happen.  A careless parent did.

Still, my heart goes out to the Cronberger family.  The only thing more tragic than the death of a child is the death of a child from something so easily preventable.

Image: edkohler/Flickr

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27 thoughts on “Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself

  1. Wes Townsend says:

    I REALLY hope people don’t start turning on video games YET AGAIN and “why oh why do we need to make things that look like guns …” Well the IDEA is for GROWN UP KIDS AND ADULTS to play games APPROPRIATE TO THEIR AGE RANGES and if having a gun attachment for the Wii remote helps you connect with the type of game then fine. What ISN’T fine is why a toddler would NEED a gun attachment to play a game on the Wii unless it’s a game SHE SHOULDN’T BE PLAYING IN THE FIRST PLACE. And what DUMB FUCK parents leave a LOADED gun on a coffee table? If you’ve got it out to frighten a prowler then TAKE IT WITH YOU when you check the garden cos the prowler will be looking at YOU not your fucking COFFEE TABLE!! DUMB-ASS AMERICAN’S Should both be prosecuted for manslaughter!

  2. Laure68 says:

    The Wii cannot be blamed for this. This should be a lesson to never leave a loaded gun around. In fact, a gun should be unloaded, locked up, with ammo stored separately. Even an unloaded gun has to be treated as if it were loaded.

  3. Mistress_Scorpio says:


  4. Eric says:

    Guns are just as dangerous to you and your family as they are to the bad guys if you aren’t responsible with them. I don’t have kids so my pistol stays loaded and unlocked, but if a kid ever comes in the house my first step is unload and lock. Since the advent of quick access gun safes, this type of tragedy has become even more avoidable.

  5. ann05 says:

    Not that I have any issue with what you’ve said, but just out of curiosity, why are you posting on a site for parents if you don’t have kids?

  6. Eric says:

    Ann05, my wife and I are planning on having kids soon. I started reading several parenting blogs to get a view inside the minds of parents. You folks talk about a lot of things I wouldn’t consider. Safety of a baby sling? BPA in baby bottles? Benefits of co-sleeping? These are things that I don’t get much exposure to in my daily life. I’m very much a look-before-you-leap type, and I consider this part of ‘research’ prior to becoming a parent.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Seriously, Ann? There are a lot of people out there who want to/will soon have kids and like to keep updated of kid-related topics. I don’t have a horse either, atm, but I still read my horsey blogs/forums. ;)

  8. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    That’s pretty cool of you, Eric! More prospective parents should do the work you are now doing. Good luck on your journey into parenthood!

  9. Ri-chan says:

    What a horrible thing to happen. I agree with Laure68 and I think that Wes Townsend should learn to be more considerate and kind in his comments considering the parents 3 year old just died.

  10. Wes Towsend says:

    I have a 2yo daughter, and I will not be considerate towards two parents whose UTTER FAILURE to act correctly with their child in the house. Your missing the points that the child knew how to and was playing a wii game that used a gun attachment to the remote, also that while checking out a possible prowler they got out a gun and loaded it but LEFT IT ON THE COFFEE TABLE rather than WITH THEM when checking out the garden! This to me isn’t an “oversight” but an utter failure to be responsible adults/parents.

    To re-itterate, the child should not be playing games that mimic gun usage and a loaded gun should not be left unattended in the same house as a child!

  11. Wes Towsend says:

    The reason my first post was so “angry” was because I am sick that a child had to die because of the actions of idiot parents!

  12. Manjari says:

    Yes, this is sad and tragic. It never should have happened. I actually think it’s pretty stupid to leave a gun out on a coffee table. When you have a young child, you just can’t make mistakes like that. I also find it outrageous that the 3 y/o was used to playing those kinds of video games. There is such a thing as age appropriateness.

  13. Angela says:

    Did I read correctly that charges will be filed? Why not? Isn’t this child endangerment or improper storage of handgun? If I was that child’s biological father, I’d want criminal charges and I’d sue the gun owner and his homeowners insurance company……..

  14. Angela says:

    And don’t blame Wii, blame the ‘parents’ that were reckless with the handgun. Take Wii out of the picture…is it then safe to leave a loaded, unlocked automatic firearm within a child’s reach? Of course not….

  15. Citizen Mom says:

    Gee, I just read that guns are now allowed in certain parks and some states are looking at allowing unconcealed weapons in public. Can’t wait to see a loaded gun left out on the table at my local Starbucks.
    I am not against the ownership of guns, but the more guns we have, legal or otherwise, the more stories like this we will read.

  16. [...] Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself [...]

  17. Ri-chan says:

    Wes, I relize that you feel sick at the tradgedy. I too, cannot fathom doing anything as careless as even having a gun in the house. But I do believe that they have recieved the ultimate punishment and that your name calling and outrage toward them are uncalled for. Sometimes people have moments of incredible thoughtlessness, and sometimes this results in tragedy, but I’m sure that the parents are more sickened and upset at themselves than you could ever be at them. I cannot imagine the devistation they must be feeling and I’m sure that, were I them, I would immediatly end my own life.

  18. Eric says:

    Citizen Mom, I’m thrilled that the national park policy has changed so that the state laws apply inside the park. I’ve avoided some of our great national parks for just such a restriction. You may think that a gun at the visitor’s station isn’t needed, but let me tell you when you’re four days walk in the backcountry the police are a loooong way away.

  19. [...] Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself [...]

  20. Carrie M. says:

    This story broke my heart.Please, for the love of God,lock up guns and ammo if you insist you need to have them in your home.Better yet,get rid of them when the kids come along.You are much more likely to have something like this happen than to be

  21. Theresa T. says:

    Blaming video technology is not the problem. My husband is a retired law enforcement officer of 30 years. We had 3 children of our own, at least a dozen other young family members, and countless friends of theirs over the years, come in and out of our home. Never once was there any type of incident and all of our children have had the latest video technology for the time. Currently, we have XBox Live for our youngest 15 year old son. Children must not have access to guns/ammunition. Safes work well for this. Keep your unloaded weapon(s) and the ammunition in a locked safe. We did! My prayers are with this family.

  22. Stephen Spargo says:

    CommentsI agree with you 100% Wes!! A 3yo has died because of the parent’s neglect and incompetence. What parent lets a 3yo play video games days at a time? She was on her computer and not even watching her children.’s do-gooders like you that excuse these people’s disgraceful behaviour and if the parents had ended their own life like you would then that would have been justice served!! Parents this stupid should not be in control of children as they are not capable.

  23. [...] Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself [...]

  24. [...] Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself [...]

  25. [...] Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself [...]

  26. [...] Toddler Mistakes Gun for Wii Controller, Shoots Herself [...]

  27. sally says:

    if you want to feel sorry for anyone think about that baby’s biological father, the courts now day should think twice about taking kids away from their father’s (use this for exsample) responsible father who wrk to save lives v/s plain sorry non attending parenting

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