When a baby girl was accidentally shot Thursday by her 3-year-old brother, the two had been left alone in a room with drugs and a loaded gun, North Charleston police said.
The children’s mother, Kaela Pryor, 21, of Ridgebrook Drive, is being held at the Charleston County jail, charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, and unlawful conduct toward a child, according to police.
During a hearing in Charleston County bond court Friday morning, Pryor’s mother Lakeshia Rivers tearfully stood in support of her daughter but declined to speak on her behalf.
When asked if she has a job, Pryor told the judge she’s currently unemployed because she has a disabled child she has to take care of.
The judge granted Pryor $25,000 bail on the unlawful conduct toward a child charge and a combined $13,000 bail on the other drug charges.
Detectives in an arrest affidavit accused Pryor of leaving both of her children alone with a .38-caliber revolver in the home’s living room where the shooting occurred Thursday evening.
The gun, about 8 grams of cocaine and 35 grams of marijuana were all left in plain view, placing the children at risk of harm, the affidavit states. More charges are likely concerning the drugs found at the home, police said.
Empty beer cans, liquor bottles and bags of garbage littered the fenced-in, grey home with white trim at 1910 Tulip St. A single gunshot rang out at the home about 6 p.m. and police responded to the home soon after.
Officers noted a strong odor of marijuana coming from the home. They found a baby girl, Ryleigh McClary, sitting in a car seat and suffering from a gunshot wound to her stomach.
Pryor and her children were visiting a cousin who lives in the Tulip Street home when the shooting occurred, police said. She said she left the children alone to step outside to get crabs to cook for dinner.
Pryor told officers she was standing on the front porch, talking with friends, when she heard a gun go off. She ran inside and saw her 3-year-old son standing next to the gun and crying, Pryor reported.
The baby was squirming. When Pryor lifted her dress she saw the girl was bleeding from a gunshot wound, a police report started.
Pryor realized her son had accidentally shot the infant, police stated in a release.
A man was inside the house when the shooting occurred, as was a woman who was sleeping in a back room, Pryor told police. The man and some other men who were on the front porch of the home ran off after the gun fired, according to an incident report.
“Please help my baby,” Pryor told an officer who arrived on the scene.
The little boy walked to the officer, held his hand and began to cry, a report stated. Police found the revolver lying on a couch.
Police determined that Pryor had the revolver in her possession when she arrived at the home. One spent and four live rounds were still in the gun when police arrived, the affidavit states.
It was not immediately clear whether Pryor had a permit for the weapon, authorities said. Charleston County paramedics transported the wounded child to Medical University Hospital in critical condition.
An update on the child’s condition was not immediately available Friday afternoon. The baby girl was born in January, according to posts on Pryor’s Facebook page.
A group of family members gathered at the Ridgebrook Drive home where Pryor lives with her mother. The group denied that Pryor owns a gun, and insisted that the woman is a good person who isn’t known to cause problems.
“She never been in any trouble, she don’t do no drugs, she don’t own no gun,” Pryor’s grandmother Lorraine Washington said.
Pryor has no criminal record in South Carolina, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.
Police spokesman Spencer Pryor (no relation) said he did not know who had custody of Pryor’s son following the shooting.