Almost exactly one year ago, on April 20, 2016, two-year-old Kiyan Enoch climbed onto a chair in the kitchen of his family’s home in Indianapolis. He reached the counter and into his mother’s purse. His tiny fingers wrapped around the grip of a handgun. With the gun accidentally pointed at himself, he pulled the gun’s trigger. He died as a result.
The next day in Kansas City, Missouri, two-year-old Sha’Quille Kornegay woke from a nap with her father and, seeing a gun nearby, she playfully pulled the trigger and accidentally shot herself. She died shortly after.
The following day, April 22, in Natchitoches, Louisiana, three-year-old Za’veon Williams fatally shot himself with a handgun he found in the home of his mother’s friend.
On April 26, three-year-old Holston Cole found a pistol in his father’s backpack. The gun fired and the bullet hit him in the chest, killing him.
For those of you keeping track, yes, that’s four toddlers who accidentally shot and killed themselves over the course of six days.
A month later, I was in Georgia with two of my best friends (cinematographer Edgar Dubrovskiy and film producer Brian Gagliardi) beginning production on what became One Week In April. We felt that this tragic story had to be told. The three of us spent the next several weeks traveling to the communities in which the four incidents took place, speaking with the children’s families and loved ones, as well as community members, law enforcement officials, local journalists and reporters, funeral home directors, and so on. While it was a difficult experience, we ultimately made something that we’re proud of that we hope will contribute to preventing the death of at least one toddler in the future.
While making this film, I had two goals in mind:
First, I wanted to create something that was relevant and important. No matter what one thinks about gun control and the second amendment, I hope that we can all agree that even one toddler accidentally shooting him or herself is one too many. With this in mind, I made a point to avoid overt political statements, choosing to focus, instead, on one simple point regarding guns: if you own one, be safe.
Second, I wanted to capture and convey the grief that comes with not only losing a loved one, but losing a child due to carelessness. To attach faces to the startling statistics surrounding children and guns by creating a portrait of grief, guilt, and lost innocence. In doing so, I aimed to show that a week or a month or a year after a child dies in such a senseless manner, all that is left are memories, regrets, and unending questions.
Kiyan, Sha’Quille, Za’veon, and Holston lost their lives a year ago when they pulled triggers that they should not have had access to. One Week In April is for them.
To watch the film, interact with additional content, and get involved please visit: oneweekinaprilfilm.com