LEBANON, Tenn. - A Wilson County neighborhood has been mourning since the Sunday night death of a young child. Three-year-old Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan accidentally shot and killed herself.
Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe said the 3-year-old got hold of her stepfather's .380 caliber, semi-automatic handgun and shot herself in the chest.
"Right now it's a terrible tragedy investigation," said Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe.
Douglas Cronberger, the stepfather, told authorities that he heard a prowler outside his Norene home, which is located on Cainsville Road right outside the Lebanon city limits. Douglas said he got his gun out to investigate, and when he returned he left the gun on the end table in the living room.
Cheyenne's mother, Tina Ann Cronberger, told authorities the little girl might have thought she was playing with a Nintendo Wii controller that may have resembled a gun.
Sheriff Ashe showed members of the media the two guns taken from the home - one a toy and the other the real semi-automatic handgun.
"You can see by the comparison of the toy weapon and the real weapon that there's little chance a 3-year-old would differentiate between the two," said Ashe. "If you have a live handgun with a toy that looks the same - for parents some bells and whistles need to go off."
Ashe said the stepfather said he was asleep at the time of the shooting, and the child's mother was in the room with the Cheyenne and the couple's 3-month-old infant.
The mother and stepfather are cooperating with detectives. The district attorney will likely take the case to the grand jury for review and to determine if any charges will be filed.