WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Burney Toddlers Shot; Father Arrested for Felony Child Endangerment

SYNOPSIS: This is an up-date to yesterday’s press release involving the victims listed in a previous press release. (See original press release, below.)

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Uni,t along with the Burney Detective, have completed most of the interviews in this case. We have learned that the father, Kevin Venia has had a “sawed-off” shotgun in his residence for a couple of weeks.

On Monday, 11/12/12 the father took the shotgun off of a shelf and began to play with it in front of his children. He then placed the shotgun (which was loaded) onto an ottoman where his kids were playing.

Kevin Venia then left the residence leaving the kids alone with the shotgun in reach. After a short time, the shotgun fired severely injuring the 4 and 2 year old children. Through statements of the 5 year old and his mother, it is believed that the five year old child got a hold of the shotgun and accidently shot his siblings. It appears that only one round was fired from the shotgun which was a 12 ga. In the early stages of this investigation, Kevin Venia denied having a shotgun in the house and soon asked for an attorney during his interview with detectives. A half brother to Kevin Venia, Ridge Gigax, was also present during this incident and told detectives that Kevin did in fact have a shotgun in the house and placed it in harms way of the children.

Further investigation led to the location of the shotgun which was located near Kevin Venia’s residence. The shotgun was located by Warden Boyd of the Department of Fish and Game. Warden Boyd used his K-9 to locate this weapon. The shotgun located was identified as the same shotgun that Kevin Venia had placed near his children.

Kevin Venia remains in jail for felony Child Endangerment with a $500,000 bail and was expected to be in court Wednesday afternoon.

The children remain in the hospital recovering from their wounds.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the citizens of Shasta County to take preventive measures to keep all firearms out of the reach of children.


CRIME/INCIDENT: Felony Child Endangerment

LOCATION: Burney, California

VICTIM(S): Victim 1 – white female juvenile, age 4; victim 2 – white male juvenile, age 2; Victim 3 – white male juvenile, age 5

SUSPECT: Venia, Kevin White male adult, DOB- 01/29/83 (in-custody) Father to victims.

SYNOPSIS: On Monday, November 12th, and in the afternoon hours, Shascom received a 911 call advising that two small children had been injured by an unknown type weapon and or device. Shasta County Burney deputies responded and located two severally injured children. After gathering information in the case, Major Crimes Detectives were called and took over the investigation along with the Burney Detective.

Through the course of many interviews and searches for evidence, the father of the victims was arrested for felony Child Endangerment. Our office learned that Kevin Venia left a long gun lying on an ottoman where his kids were playing. It is believed that after leaving the kids alone, the weapon fired striking the 4 year old and the 2 year old. Both children are being treated at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento,

California. They are listed in serious condition. The 5 year old is in protective custody and was uninjured. Our office is electing not to provide how the long gun fired or what type of long gun it was until further interviews are conducted. An update on the case will be released tomorrow.

No further Information will be provided on the victims as they have been placed into protective custody.

~ Shasta County press release

-from press release
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1 Response

  1. Avatar Lisa says:

    put your guns in a safe place please – we are a area of hunters and we need to know that kids are curious and will do what we dont think they will.