Father charged after 2-year-old fatally shoots herself
(CNN) — A 2-year-old girl fatally shot herself in Fayetteville, North Carolina, over the weekend, and the toddler’s father faces involuntary manslaughter charges, police told reporters.
Melvin Andre Clark Jr., 19, who was arrested Sunday, also was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, CNN affiliate WRAL-TV reported.
The girl, Samarri Tyana Beauford, was playing in her father’s living room Saturday when she found a loaded .22-caliber pistol that police say Clark left under the couch, the station reported.
The toddler accidentally shot herself and was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center about 12:30 p.m., where she later died.
No one else was injured, WRAL reported.
Clark was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center on a $50,000 secured bond and was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoo n, according to WRAL.
This is at least the third instance since June of a child dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In New Orleans, a 5-year-old girl died June 23 after she came “into contact with a .38-caliber revolver and accidentally shot herself in the head” while her mother was at a store, police told CNN.
About two months later, a 3-year-old boy in Dundee, Michigan, found a .40-caliber handgun belonging to a family friend on a closet floor in his home. He died after accidentally shooting himself in the head, police said.
Fewer than two weeks ago, 2-year-old Michael Garcia Jr. was taken to a hospital after shooting himself with a .45-caliber handgun registered to his mother, according to CNN affiliate WFTV. The boy’s injuries were not life-threatening, the station reported.
According to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 703 children under the age of 15 died in accidental firearms deaths between 2001 and 2010, the latest year for which the agency’s statistics on fatalities are available.
During the same period, 7,766 children under the age of 14 suffered accidental firearm injuries — about one injury for every million children.
CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin and Leslie Bentz contributed to this report.