Negligence on behalf of 35-year old Oscar Ramos was the cause of 2-year-old Jace Alexander’s self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer in a Monday afternoon press conference.
The 911 call was received on July 7, 2018 at 12:48 PM and officers arrived shortly after and found Jace Alexander on the bedroom floor in a pool of blood.
The facts given during the press conference are as follows:
- Jace’s father, 26-year-old Jonathan Alexander was working during the time and left Jace in the care of his fiancé Jenna Moya and roommate Oscar Ramos. Jace’s biological mother and father are separated
- According to the investigation, Jenna Moya prepared Jace’s breakfast and “put cartoons on so he could be entertained” and left Jace. Thirty minutes later, Jenna heard a gunshot and rushed to the bedroom to find Jace on the floor.
- Chief Dyer said a 5-10-minute delay occurred after the self-inflicted gunshot wound because Jenna was unable to call 911 “for whatever reason” and Oscar Ramos paced around the house. At that point, Jenna finally grabbed Ramos’ phone and called 911.
- Jace was still breathing when officers arrived, and he was transported to Valley Children’s hospital and was pronounced deceased at 2:54 PM.
During the investigation, Oscar Ramos informed Fresno PD that the gun belonged to him and he was unable to recall where he placed the gun last, but thought he had placed it on the entertainment center in the living room. Ramos was remorseful and took full responsibility.
When Jace’s father Jonathan Alexander was interviewed, he told Fresno PD that Ramos left the firearm where it was easily accessible by children and informed Ramos to not leave the gun in those locations.
Chief Dyer stated that Oscar Ramos was arrested and booked into Fresno County jail based on the totality of the circumstances on felony charge of criminal storage of a firearm and being in possession of a large capacity magazine with more than 10 rounds.
Chief Dyer showed a picture of the safe found in the bedroom where Jace was found and stated that the gun should have been stored in that safe.
Chief Dyer reiterated that this death was completely avoidable:
“We have a two-year-old boy in our city today who is dead, a father who is grieving who will never be the same as a result of a negligent act of one individual. 35-year-old Oscar Ramos who failed to secure his firearm in a safe that he had in his own bedroom . . . [he] could not even remember where he had left the firearm on Friday evening the last time he could recall . . . He had been told in the past by Jace’s father to not leave that firearm in a place that was accessible… He failed to honor that request and today 2-year-old Jace Alexander is dead.”
Chief Dyer emphasized responsible gun ownership around children and the importance of keeping firearms in safes and said:
“[The] law speaks to how a gun should be stored if a person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm without permission of a child’s parent or legal guardian.”
In this case, Chief Dyer said Oscar Ramos knew the gun could be accessed by a child, because children were living in the home, and he was told to not leave the gun out.
Chief Dyer stated:
“I have a granddaughter who is 2 years old and I think about whether this could happen in my house and the answer is no because I keep my firearm in a safe, locked up, and secured so they cannot access it. I just hope and pray everyone would do the same . . . We can’t get Jace Alexander’s life back, but we can learn from it.”