UPDATE: Turns out that this is a custodial dad. Mom blames herself for letting Dad have custody, because she apparently thought Dad could do better with an autistic child.
You really have to wonder why Dad would leave an unsecured gun around where an autistic child could find it if he was such a better parent.
Mother in Shock After Death of Son
Updated: Jul 22, 2009 10:15 AM CDT
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- A 5-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself has died. The incident happened Monday night at the Walgreens on Durango and Warm Springs.
Giovani Kopystenski was with his father, 31-year-old Alex Kopystenski, as they waited at the pharmacy drive thru. The boy found a gun in the car and shot himself in the head.
The boy's mother, Maria Bass-Williams, says she blames herself for her son's death. She says her son was autistic and that she made the decision to let him be raised by his father, whom she was no longer in a relationship with. While she saw Giovani several days out of the week, she says maybe it just wasn't enough.
"I didn't get to be there with my son. I didn't get to go to the hospital. At least if he knew that I was there, it would have been different," she said.
Maria and Alex still they remained close for Giovani's sake. His mother thought since he was autistic, it'd be better for him to live with his dad. It's a decision she now regrets. "I blame myself because he should have been at home. It should have never been too much for me to have Gio," she said.
Rather than be angry, the mother says she and Giovani's three brothers and sisters are remembering the good times. Despite the family's loss, Maria says it should prove a painful reminder to others. "There's now reason to have gun. All they're going to do is hurt somebody," she said.
The only other advice she gives is to cherish each moment with your child as if it could be the last. "You have to be engaged by them because you won't get a chance to make it up. You don't get to make it up," she said.
Giovani would have turned six next month, but rather than planning a party, they're left planning his funeral.
Alex Kopystenski was arrested for child neglect. He faces a judge for the first time on Wednesday.
Another dads-who-can't-be bothered-to-keep-their-guns-locked-up story. This time the dad is ALEX KOPYSTENSKI, who left his gun lying around his car. His 5-year-old found it, and killed himself while playing with it.
Posted: Wednesday, 22 July 2009 5:08AM
Father Facing Charges in Son's Death
The father of the five-year old who accidently shot himself in the head is facing charges. Alex Kopystenski was arrested Tuesday on a charge of felony child endangerment. Around 8:45 p.m. Monday, the father and the son now identified as Giovanni Kopystenski were at a Walgreen drive-through window on Durango Drive and Warm Springs when the child found a gun in the car and began playing with it. The gun accidently went off and struck the child in the head. He was transported to UMC and later died on Tuesday. Kopystenski is currently out of the Detention Center on $3,000 bail.