Tragic Death of 3-Year-Old King Penro in Accidental Shooting Raises Concerns over Gun Safety

Accident – Death – Obituary News : Merrillville Boy Dies in Tragic Accidental Shooting

Tragic Accidental Shooting Claims Life of 3-Year-Old Boy in Merrillville

A heartbreaking incident took place in Merrillville, as a 3-year-old boy lost his life due to an accidental gunshot wound. The Merrillville Police Department received a distress call at approximately 5:45 p.m. on December 4, reporting the incident at the 3100 block of W. 79th Place. The victim, later identified as King Penro, was immediately attended to by medics who arrived at the scene. Despite their best efforts, the young boy was tragically declared dead by hospital doctors, leaving the community in shock and mourning.

According to Merrillville Cmdr. Matt Vasel, one round was fired from a handgun which was subsequently recovered by the police. While investigations are ongoing, authorities believe the shooting to be accidental. However, it remains unclear whether the young boy or someone else discharged the firearm. Vasel mentioned that the victim’s family is fully cooperating with the investigation, aiding the authorities in unraveling the circumstances surrounding this devastating incident. As a strong advocate for gun safety, the police department emphasized their commitment to raising awareness and provided information about gun locks available for those in need.

Detective E. Meyer is leading the investigation, and anyone with relevant information is urged to contact him via email at or by calling 219-769-3531 ext. 354. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Once the investigation concludes, the case will be presented to the Lake County Prosecutor’s office, as stated by Cmdr. Vasel.

This tragic incident resonates with recent events in the neighboring city of Gary, where three separate incidents involved toddlers accessing loaded firearms, resulting in the death of two young children. On November 17, a 2-year-old boy tragically lost his life when his 3-year-old brother found a gun in their mother’s purse in the 2100 block of Georgia Street. Another heart-wrenching incident occurred on August 30, when 5-year-old Edan Johnson, from Chicago, was fatally shot while visiting relatives in the 2400 block of Filmore Street. The boy’s death was attributed to a 32-year-old man who had momentarily set down his gun before falling asleep, only to be awakened by the sound of a gunshot. The most recent incident took place on September 12, where a 4-year-old accidentally shot himself after finding his mother’s gun inside her purse in the closet.

Michelle L. Quinn is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.