Grandmother charged in accidental shooting in court Thursday

CREATED Apr 3, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - The grandmother of a four-year-old boy who shot himself near 45th and Villard last month walked slowly into court for her first appearance Thursday.

Renee Smith was carrying a cane.  On the way out, Smith still had the cane in her hand, but she used it for something other than walking.

We asked Renee Smith a series of questions after she was released on a $1,000 signature bond Thursday.  We asked about her grandson's condition and about the gun that nearly took his life while she was babysitting him last month.
 
"Have a nice day," said Smith.
 
But as we pressed on, Smith's calm demeanor snapped.
 
"What else could you have done besides put the gun in a box?" we asked.
 
Smith shoved me aside with her cane, while a man accompanying her did the same to our photographer.
 
We asked, "Do you feel that these charges are unfair?"
 
Her response, "I think you need to get out of my face. That's what you need to do, get out of my face."
 
As her case begins to play out in court, memories of the March 19th shooting near 45th and Villard are vivid.  In the criminal complaint, we learned Smith was watching television as three small children played with matchbox cars. One found a gun under grandma's bed. Court documents go on to say that Smith's husband told police that his wife bought the gun for protection after a recent home invasion.  But today, she denied that.
 
"I didn't have no home invasion. Where you get that s*** from?" said Smith.
 
Smith is due back in court April 16th.  Her four year old grandson remains hospitalized.  We've been told by a community activist that the boy's improving, getting up on out of bed and talking again. For now, he's wearing a helmet to protect his head.