LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that his office has filed three criminal charges against Jaylin Burdette in connection with the death of a five year old boy who shot himself with an allegedly unsecured gun.
"Time and again I’ve emphasized that it’s absolutely crucial to lock up your guns, and this horrific incident illustrates exactly why," said Feuer. "In Los Angeles, locking up guns is the law because it saves lives and prevents unthinkable tragedies like the one we allege here. With kids home from school, safely storing firearms has never been more important."
On November 13, 2019, Jaylin Burdette, a licensed security guard, celebrated his 26th birthday at his mother’s home in Leimert Park. His mother was the legal guardian and foster mother of the five year old boy. Early the next morning, Burdette allegedly found a loaded gun in the alley behind his mother’s house. He allegedly took it back and placed it in a lockable document container in the closet of the bedroom where the five year old boy slept and played.
In the early afternoon of November 20, the boy was playing and fatally shot himself with the loaded gun. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Burdette was charged with Criminal Storage of a Firearm (Penal Code Section 25100(a)); Unlawful Storage of a Firearm (Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 55.21(b)(1)); and Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Public Place (Penal Code Section 25850(a)). If convicted on all three charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Guns that are not locked up in homes pose a serious public safety threat to both residents and the community. State and local law require guns in the home be safely stored.
Deputy City Attorney George Sami of the City Attorney’s Gun Violence Prevention Unit is prosecuting this case.
A national leader in preventing gun violence, Feuer created the City Attorney’s Gun Violence Prevention Unit and works aggressively to keep guns out the hands of criminals and children. He has brought charges against adults who did not properly store firearms, and, with the LAPD, created protocols to assure domestic violence perpetrators do not have weapons. In June, 2019, Feuer worked with LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson, Women Against Gun Violence, Moms Demand and Everytown to educate parents in the nation’s second largest school district of their legal obligation to lock up any guns in their home. Feuer is also Co-Chair of the national non-partisan coalition, Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, which two weeks ago held a virtual summit amid the COVID crisis – on safe storage of guns, firearm suicide prevention, gun violence restraining orders and in-home crimes such as domestic violence and child abuse. As a state legislator and L.A. City Council member, Feuer has written some of the nation’s toughest and most innovative gun violence prevention laws.