Thirty four year-old Dahlcey Payne told officer Bart Fagan of the Marshall County Sheriff's Office that on the evening of June 2, when she had stepped into the kitchen that evening to wash dishes, she heard a shot ring out from the next room.
When Payne entered the adjacent room to see what had happened, she discovered that her three year-old son had found her handgun and had shot himself in the leg.
According to police reports, Payne then rushed her son to Marshall Medical Center's emergency room. The Sheriff's office was notified and detectives were sent to the hospital to collect a statement from the mother.
Payne told officers that the handgun was usually stored in a lock box. She said that she had removed it earlier that morning because of a stray dog that had been coming into her yard. The report states that the gun was left unattended for some time.
Payne's three year-old son was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center where he was admitted to the Children's Hospital. The child remained there for three days after sustaining a broken femur that was caused when the bullet lodged in his leg.
Payne was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment. Her bond was set at $6,000, and she is scheduled to appear in court on June 27 at 8:30 am.