Police in Greenville, North Carolina, have declined to press criminal charges against the adults in the home of a 3-year-old who “accidentally” shot himself with a gun.
The 3-year-old boy managed to get hold of the gun after a 13-year-old unlocked a gun safe and left the firearm in an unsecured location. Police said that’s when Kayden Swinnely grabbed the gun and “accidentally” shot himself. Greenville Police Chief Ted Sauls said the tragic incident occurred on Friday night in Wildwood Villas on Beech Street in Greenville.
Sauls said that he does not expect any charges against the adults who were in the apartment at the time. He told local reporters that “the weapon was properly secured by the letter of the law.” According to Sauls, two children, Kayden’s aunt, and his mother were inside the home at the time.
This is the second time a child has taken their life over an unsecured gun in Eastern North Carolina. In a neighboring county, Lenoir County, police charged 29-year-old Clarence Byrd III with involuntary manslaughter and negligent child abuse after a 3-year-old accidentally shot himself with an unsecured and loaded handgun.
The loss of a child’s life without anyone being held responsible is tragic. Children should not be aware of the location of their parents’ guns in the home, whether they are locked in a safe or not. Wh*ever informed this 13-year-old about the safe’s whereabouts, enabling him to break in and retrieve the gun, should be held accountable for their actions, which resulted in the tragic death of 3-year-old Kayden.