Last weekend in Florida, an eight-year-old boy shot and killed a child and injured his sister while playing with his father’s gun.
Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said the father, Roderick Randall, 45, was arrested and charged with negligence, possessing a firearm and concealing evidence.
The tragedy—all too common in a country full of firearms—occurred at a motel where Randall, who has a criminal record that forbade him from possessing a gun, met his girlfriend.
He had brought his son, while his girlfriend had brought their two-year-old twins and their one-year-old daughter.
At one point, Randall walked out and left his weapon “in the closet,” the sheriff said during a press conference. Knowing where she was hiding, her son pulled her out and started playing with her while the girls’ mother was sleeping.
“He pulls the gun out of the holster, begins to play with it and fires a round at the one-year-old, eventually killing the one-year-old. Then the bullet goes to one of the two-year-olds and is injured. but is expected to be fine.”
When the father returned, he took the gun and an unknown substance that might have been drugs out of the room before the police arrived.
The child’s death is the latest in a shocking series of similar mishaps.
According to a recent report from Everytown for Gun Safety, “Every year, hundreds of children in the United States are left unsupervised, loaded guns, in backpacks and purses, or simply in cupboards and nightstand drawers.”
“With tragic regularity, children find these unsafe guns and inadvertently shoot themselves or someone else.”
The organization, which advocates increased regulation of firearms, estimates that “unintentional shootings” by minors cause an average of 350 deaths each year.
In general, firearms cause about 40,000 deaths, including suicide, in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)