While playing with his father’s gun, an 8-year-old boy killed a baby and injured a girl this weekend in Florida, a sadly common tragedy in America.
The father, Roderick Randall, 45, was arrested and charged with negligence, illegal possession of firearms and concealment of evidence, said Chip Simmons, sheriff of Escambia, a county in northwest Florida.
The drama occurred in a motel where the man had met his girlfriend. He had gone with her son, she with her two-year-old twins and her one-year-old baby.
At one point, he went missing, leaving his gun “in a closet,” the sheriff said during a news conference. Knowing where the gun was hidden, “his son grabbed it and started playing with it.”
“He shot the one-year-old baby and killed her. After going through her, the bullet hit one of the twins, but she is expected to recover,” the bailiff continued, noting that the mother of the victims was asleep while this happened. .
When the man returned, he removed the gun and some substances, likely drugs, from the bedroom before police arrived.
This death is part of a staggering series of similar gun accidents.
“Each year, hundreds of children in the United States gain access to loaded, unlocked guns in closets and nightstand drawers, in backpacks and purses, or simply left lying around,” according to a recent report by the NGO Everytown For Gun Safety.
“With tragic regularity, children find these guns unlocked and inadvertently shoot themselves or someone else,” he added.
The organization, which campaigns for better oversight of firearms, estimates that these “unintentional shootings” by minors cause an average of 350 deaths each year.
More generally, firearms cause an estimated 40,000 deaths a year in the United States, including suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.
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