The shooting death of a 2 year old child by a 4 year old who was riding in the same vehicle has led to several charges against a man who was with them and owned the gun.
Thirty three year old Colton Dean Mammenga faces two charges of second degree manslaughter, one count of child endangerment and one count of negligent storage of a firearm for possessing the gun that enabled the shooting to occur.
On October 15h, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a shooting in which the victim was being taken to the hospital. Police caught up with the vehicle outside of Fairmont and the driver pulled over. Mammenga exited the vehicle with the child in his arms.
According to the charges, Mammenga placed the child on the shoulder of the road and began administering CPR while police attempted to bandage the child’s wound.
Mammenga said a 4 year old child, who was still in the vehicle, had accidentally shot the 2 year old and he believed the gun was still in their possession. Mammenga told authorities the 4 year old, “must have gotten the gun from the front,” and “he wasn’t aware he had the gun,” according to the charges. When he heard the gun go off, he looked in the back seat and saw the 2 year old had been shot.
When questioned by the police, Mammenga said prior to the shooting and after the children were placed into the truck, he went into the house to get coffee – admitting to leaving the gun in the passenger side door compartment, charges said. Mammenga said he and their mother went back into the house for “No more than 3-5 minutes,” during which the child was able to grab the gun without them knowing.
Police later searched the vehicle and found a zip-lock baggie full of 9mm rounds sitting next to the 4 year old’s car seat and loose 9mm rounds in a booster seat in the back.