Father, girlfriend arrested on child abuse charges in Glendale after boy accidentally shoots himself

Mar 21, 2024, 1:05 PM

Kevin Lavell Rhymes, 44, and Laquasha Lachell Sebastian, 31, were arrested on child abuse and endan...

Kevin Lavell Rhymes, 44, and Laquasha Lachell Sebastian, 31, were arrested on child abuse and endangerment charges after Rhymes' 4-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in Glendale on March 20, 2024. (Glendale Police Photos)

(Glendale Police Photos)

PHOENIX — A father and his girlfriend were arrested on child abuse and endangerment charges after his 4-year-old son accidentally shot himself in Glendale, authorities said Thursday.

Officers responded to a home near 67th Avenue and Camelback Road around 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday and found the boy with a gunshot wound to his chest, according to arrest documents.

Kevin Lavell Rhymes, 44, told police that he was working on a car outside when he heard a shot in the master bedroom and ran inside.

His girlfriend, 31-year-old Laquasha Lachell Sebastian, was sleeping in the bedroom and called 911 before helping the boy until first responders arrived.

Officers on scene noticed several live rifle rounds and weapons scattered through the house, including the bedroom where the child shot himself, arrest documents said.

A weapon belonging to Sebastian was found on the bed, but investigators quickly determined it wasn’t used in the shooting. Parts of another gun were found near the bed and matched a weapon that was found in the backyard that belonged to Rhymes, who is a prohibited possessor.

Rhymes and Sebastian were taken to the Glendale Police Department for questioning and were subsequently arrested. Both suspects were scheduled to have their initial court appearances on Thursday.

The child was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery and was upgraded to stable condition.

History of service calls at Glendale home where child shot himself

The shooting wasn’t the first time police had been called to Rhymes’ home.

There were a number of calls dating to January 2023, according to arrest documents.

Multiple times, police were called to the home for domestic violence issues between Rhymes and Sebastian.

During one of those occasions, officers warned the adults about letting children play with guns after the victim was seen holding a weapon. The Department of Child Services was contacted after that incident.

In another instance, the boy and a dog were found at a nearby grocery store after they were left at home unattended.

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Father, girlfriend arrested on child abuse charges in Glendale after boy accidentally shoots himself