PROVIDENCE — A Cranston man whose criminal record bars him from having a gun was charged with shooting his 4-year-old son in the head Tuesday.
While his son fought for his life in an intensive care unit, Michael A. Jones, 33, was arraigned Wednesday and ordered held without bail as a violator in previous cases.
Jones was home alone with his son in their second-floor apartment at 25 Queen St. on Tuesday morning when, he told police, he accidentally fired a handgun. The boy was in another room, but the bullet traveled through a wall and hit the boy in the head, according to Cranston police.
A downstairs relative called for help, and Jones met police while holding the bleeding child in his arms. The police found a 9mm handgun inside the apartment.
The boy underwent emergency surgery and remained in critical condition at Hasbro Children’s Hospital Wednesday afternoon.
Police Chief Michael Winquist said that investigators are still trying to determine how Jones got the handgun, which he is forbidden by law to buy or possess. “The evidence in the case thus far supports the suspect’s statement that an unintentional discharge caused the shooting,” Winquist told the Globe in an email Wednesday.
Jones did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the chief said.
Jones has a lengthy criminal record that includes domestic violence charges going back 15 years, drunk-driving, and felony assault. Over the years, he has been ordered to attend counseling for alcohol and domestic violence.
Most recently, he pleaded no contest in June 2022 to felony assault, after his pregnant ex-girlfriend accused him of pointing a gun at her. That weapon turned out to be a realistic-looking pellet gun, according to court records.
Jones was ordered to serve two years of probation in that case. Then, he was arrested in August on his second DUI and fourth charge of driving without a license. He was released on bail.
On Wednesday, Jones faced a judge again. At the arraignment, a Kent County District Court judge set bail at $50,000 with surety on the new charges of felony assault, possession of a firearm as a prohibited person , and firing in a compact area. The judge ordered Jones held without bail as a violator of his probation and bail.
This article has been updated with new information from the suspect’s arraignment Wednesday.
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