A Richland County, South Carolina deputy sheriff was getting ready for work. He told his 4-year-old son to go get dressed and get ready for the baby sitter's. Instead the boy went into the deputy's bedroom, found a gun and unintentionally shot himself. The deputy, who has not been identified, heard the gunshot around 9:30 a.m. and found his son lying on the bedroom floor with a gunshot wound to the upper body. The boy was transported to the hospital where he is in critical but stable condition.
The gun involved was a department issued secondary weapon, it was not the deputy's service weapon. Police are investigating how the boy gained access to the gun. All deputies are issued a gun safety lock box when hired.
Police are reminding gun owners to use safety precautions if they choose to bring guns into a home where children live. They should remember to always:
- take the ammunition out of the gun.
- lock the gun and keep it out of reach of children.
- lock the ammunition apart from the gun.
- store the keys for the gun and the ammunition in a different area from where you store household keys.
- keep the keys out of reach of children.
- lock up gun-cleaning supplies, which are often poisonous.
- talk to your family about gun safety.