Coweta County

Mother surrenders to police after toddler injures sister with gun

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — UPDATE: Jennifer Cotton, 30, has turned herself in Saturday morning and is listed as an inmate at the Coweta County Jail. Cotton is being held without bond at this time. Cotton is the mother of the children involved in the shooting at #1 Buffet in Newnan.

ORIGINAL STORY: There is a warning from police after a toddler got his mother's gun and shot his 11-year-old sister.

Police said this particular 9 mm handgun doesn't have a safety feature and it shouldn't have been around children at all.

“We did determine that weapon did not have a safety-type device on it,” Lt. Tate Washington said.

Police said a mother came to eat at a Newnan restaurant Sunday afternoon with her 3 children -- an infant, a 2-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.


They said the mother had a 9 mm handgun in her purse in a holster, but her gun had no safety feature on it.

Police said the 2-year-old unzipped the purse when the mom wasn't looking, unzipped the small compartment containing the gun and fired it.

His sister was hit in both legs.

“What they thought at the time was a bullet,” Washington said. “Medical staff was able to determine it was not a bullet, it was a machine-type screw.”

According to police, there's a plastic piece at the bottom of the holster the mother had, and a screw holds it in place.

The barrel of the gun sits on the plastic piece so when the 2-year-old pulled the trigger, the screw went into his sister's leg.

She was transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“The child did have surgery to remove that screw. She was listed in stable condition,” Washington said.

The mother could face charges, but police believe this was a terrible accident.

They hope others will take notice.