Wii Gun Involved In Three-Year-Old Shooting Is Amazingly Lifelike

At the top is a Smith & Wesson automatic pistol. Below, the WiiAuto Pistol. Mistaking the former for the latter, three-year-old Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan of Wilson County, Tennessee, shot and killed herself Sunday evening. Where does the blame lie?

We reported on the accidental shooting death of Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan yesterday, mainly due to the fact that the initial reports indicated the girl mistook a real pistol, left on a living room table by her stepfather, for a gun-shaped Wii controller. In our experience, Wii gun controllers are generally white, blue, or orange, in order to avoid exactly this sort of situation.

The WiiAuto Pistol is a cheap bit of plastic manufactured by the HAIHONGCHANG Electronics Company in China, available for purchase via various websites and on eBay. I've seen the peripheral go for anywhere for $US7 to $US15, so not only is it colouring realistic, it's cheap as well.

We've reached out to the manufacturer regarding this story, and will update should we receive a response.

Further details have arisen about the case itself as well. The child's stepfather, Douglas Cronberger, had been checking for trespassers using the gun, and not scaring off dogs, as originally reported. Both Cronberger and his wife, Tina Ann Cronberger, were home at the time of the shooting, with the mother working on the computer a few feet away from where Cheyenne played.

A police statement noted that Cheyenne had learned to use a gun by playing with the Wii for several days.

There are several things that strike me odd about this case, but I'm not here to speculate. The fact of the matter is that I can now see how the child could have mistaken the real gun for the toy. Free from American manufacturing and product approval restraints, the Chinese manufacturer created a very convincing facsimile of a real weapon, especially when fitted with a black Wii remote.

That doesn't make them responsible for this death.

There is a very clear message in this story. If you own a handgun, or a gun of any kind, make sure you're responsible enough to keep it away from children. The presence of a lifelike gun controller for the Wii doesn't shift blame to Nintendo or a Chinese peripheral manufacturer. If anything, it piles more responsibility onto the shoulders of the parents. I can walk into any big electronics store and find two or three Wii gun controllers in several different shades of unrealistic gaudiness.

Instead of purchasing one of those, someone opted for the more realistic model, just like someone opted to leave a loaded weapon within reach of a curious three-year-old child with a notion that gun-shaped objects are fun to play with.

We've reached out to both Nintendo and the Wilson County Sheriff's Department for comment on this story, but no response was received as of publishing time.

Wilson County Girl, 3, Fatally Shoots Self [WSMV Nashville via All About The Games - Thanks Martijn]


    Where does the blame lie? how about with the retarded parents that keep a loaded pistol in reach of a 3 year old?

    You can't really blame the company for making a life like looking prop. Kids play with those things all the time. The parent on the other hand is a friggin idiot for leaving a loaded gun in a VERY accessible space.

    blame the gun owner. but given this happened in the US blame everything but the gun owner

    I have played many wii games using a gun peripheral. None of them I would consider as suitable for a 3 year old. You have to stop and wonder about the mentality of parents who would let their child play these games for starters.

    would have been much nicer if they just shot the tele up

    Where does the blame lie? We even need to ask!?!

    Its one think to not put locks on the laundry liquids cabinet but leaving a gun around!?

    A smell a lawsuit coming for the manufacturer... a lawsuit that they don't deserve.

    I was at first GOING to point the finger at them until i read the, oh you know, part where the parents left the gun on the table.

    Not only that, Wiis are now coming in Black, so the fact that this peripheral is black which resembles a gun even more greatly - isn't the manufacturers fault exactly.

    I'm confused why the 3 year old was able to lift the gun without hesitation (depending on the weight of the used gun) and able to pull the trigger herself. I've actually never shot a pistol like that before, but triggers aren't exactly loose.

    Everything smells kinda fishy to me with the story given so far. Can people seriously be that stupid to leave the gun on a table, no matter if you were "using" just before. Anyway - if you suspected trespassers being on your property, i would assume the front yard - wouldn't you yell out "I'm calling the police" and not grab your gun and shoot the next thing you see pass the window. Stupid instincts...

      Your first mistake was to credit this guy with intelligence. 3yr olds should not be playing gun-games on Wii. Firearms should not be left, loaded and ready, in full reach of 3 yr olds.

      Let's not forget this happened in Tennessee. It's not Texas, but its not far off.

        I don't recall ever giving credit to the parents or "this guy"?
        The article never actually states the 3 year old even PLAYEd gun-shooting games.

        Its possible the parents play those sorts of games and a 3 year old, being a 3 year old, had in time witnessed them playing it and when the opportunity struck, tried to do the same (without of corse playing the game itself) and unfortunately, this incident occurred.

        I'm not defending the parents in anyway shape or form. They're to blame 100% - mainly this step-father after being the one who clearly had possession of the gun before the incident.

        As for others about the "Where does the Blame lie" remark. I think thats more of a... read on to find out... the article suggests the parents are really.

    Mike, I honestly can't believe you would wonder 'where the blame lies' on this story. The family left a LOADED HANDGUN in the reach of a 3 year old child. No matter how life-like the wii gun is, the fault is with the parents.

    Think before you post next time!

      Did you read more than just the opening paragraph before replying? The article explicitly states the parents are to blame.

      Think before you post next time!

    the blame solely lies with the parents. this is tragic, but wtf were they thinking leaving a loaded hand gun sitting on the bloody table?

    i can see why here in Aus they make these things in bright pink or sky blue.

    actually just thinking about this some more, wouldn't the gun had to have been left in a 'hot' state? ie: the safety off, and the hammer cocked?

    absolutely crazy.

    Manslaughter by criminal negligence, surely.

    Blame: Parents

    Reason: Gun (loaded or otherwise) accessible to 3 year old.

    End of Story

    Is a 3 year old even strong enough to shoot a handgun like that? Something smells fishy about the whole story.

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