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Mother held in death of 3-year-old son while she showed gun

December 18, 2020 GMT
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This Clark County Detention Center booking photo shows Jasmin Vargas, 24, of Las Vegas, following her arrest Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, on felony child abuse charges in the shooting death of her 3-year-old son. Vargas is accused of accidentally firing a shot with a handgun that she recently purchased and was showing to friends. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)
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This Clark County Detention Center booking photo shows Jasmin Vargas, 24, of Las Vegas, following her arrest Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, on felony child abuse charges in the shooting death of her 3-year-old son. Vargas is accused of accidentally firing a shot with a handgun that she recently purchased and was showing to friends. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities in Las Vegas say a 3-year-old boy died of a gunshot fired from a newly purchased handgun that his mother was showing to her friends.

Jasmin Vargas, 24, of Las Vegas was arrested and booked Thursday into the Clark County jail on two felony child abuse charges following an investigation of the Wednesday evening shooting in the parking lot of an apartment complex east of downtown, police Lt. Dave Valenta said.

Vargas bought the 9mm weapon legally about a month ago, but was unfamiliar with its operation, Valenta told reporters.

“She just did not understand the paramount responsibility of gun ownership and the dangers,” he said, according to the Las Vegas Sun .

Valenta said Vargas was handling the weapon “in an inappropriate manner, inappropriate place, surrounded by adults but also other children, including her own.”

Police said Vargas took the boy to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Vargas made an initial court appearance at which a judge set bail at $80,000 and scheduled another court date Tuesday.

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A deputy public defender who represented Vargas did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.