Skip to comments.PD: Boy, 4, accidentally shoots, kills father
Posted on 06/08/2013 7:41:22 AM PDT by KeyLargo
PD: Boy, 4, accidentally shoots, kills father
by Natalie Brand
Posted on June 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM
Updated yesterday at 9:53 PM
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. -- A 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father at a home in Prescott Valley Friday, according to a spokesman for the Prescott Valley Police Dept.
Police have identified the victim as 35-year-old Justin Stanfield Thomas of Phoenix, a military veteran who served in the Army Special Forces. Detectives say he and his son were from Phoenix and they were visiting a friend at that home. The boy found a gun in the living room and accidentally shot his father.
"I really can't believe this happened," said Jeremy Hartt, a neighbor and friend of everyone involved. "It's tragic, that poor little boy."
Hartt said he didn't hear the gunshot but saw the aftermath. He said the friend Thomas was visiting is also a military veteran who keeps a loaded gun for protection.
"Apparently when Justin and his little boy showed up, within minutes, the little boy found the gun and said, 'hey, daddy, what's this?' and it went off," Hartt said.
(Excerpt) Read more at azfamily.com ...
Police seem to say that the case is closed and that the gun just went off?
It’s hard enough for a 4 year old to raise/trigger pull most guns.
Either way, sounds suspicious. They had better find powder residue on the boy and a fingerprint match on the gun.
Thus would have at least SAID something to a 4 yr old boy ABOUT guns
visiting an equal warrior
And the kid asks; "What's this"?
I don't buy it.
Son of a gun....
“I don’t buy it.”
I’m with you. Something’s not right.
Yes, it doesn’t pass the smell test.
Could this have been a suicide?
Could his buddy have shot him intentionally or unintentionally?
This seems curious to me.It takes a bit of effort to “fire”a handgun.It must have benn”cocked”but not”locked”,and had a “hair-trigger”?This is a VERY careless way to keep a gun handy!
I have no doubt that a 4 year old could do this. My 4 year old grandson certainly could. But he has been trained about firearms.
The problem is letting children into the house when you have loaded weapons.
I don't let my grandchildren into my home. They will be welcome, once they pass the NRA gun safety course.
I agree something seems strange about this story.
In any event the firearm should have been secured by the owner as soon as the child entered the owner’s residence.
Anyway I feel sorry for the family and the little son no matter what the outcome.
May the young man RIP.
The kids in this family learn about guns and the strict rules involved while they are being potty trained.
My son is 5 now, but even when he was 4 I taught him never to touch a weapon he finds. He’s on the autism spectrum, but he fully understands, just the same as not to talk to strangers.
This seems so awful. I feel so bad for that child.
"Police said they are investigating Thomas' death as a homicide - as they do anytime someone dies of anything other than natural causes.
"At this point, it does appear that this is just a tragic accident from this child, and we will look to see if there's any negligence issues there," said Prescott Valley police Sgt. Brandon Bonney. "But, at this point, the information we have is it's just a tragic accident that was unforeseen."
For miles from my home, and one hour after a friend stopped by to show me his .380. We understood safety and treated the firearm with respect. Either they were terribly stupid or there is more, much more to the story.
Store where most adults wouldn’t see, find, or reach.
it does sound strange, given the men’s backgrounds and the strnge statement about the child wondering what it was. he would know at 4 what it was, with a military father. and also not to touch it because he would know it was not a toy.
Sure, I get that this father and son may have just showed up at that guy’s house and said guy probably didn’t have time or thought to put away his guns. But what’s with parents letting their kids rummage around in someone’s house? Back in the day, we knew not to go snooping around or messing with what wasn’t ours. I don’t ever remember being told not to play with guns but we just didn’t. But then no one gave guns a second thought unlike today when they are big scary monsters. Again, we didn’t touch what wasn’t ours. If kids didn’t rule the house and if parents actually parented, we wouldn’t be reading about this.
That seems far more likely.
I never believe stories like this. It is very difficult for a small boy or girl to fire either an automatic pistol or a revolver. There is much more to the story than printed.
Cops don't care. Another "domestic terror" suspect was dealt with.
[[”At this point, it does appear that this is just a tragic accident from this child, and we will look to see if there’s any negligence issues there,”]]
The state I live in a child had a friend over, they foudn hteir father’s gun, then managed to find some ammo which was kept in a duifferent location, and the gun went off, the friend was killed- The father is o ntrial for something- can’t remember what now- perhaps ‘improperly securign a gun i nthe house’ or osme such nonsense, and the prosecutors were pushign to trry the underage child for murder and as an adult- the copurts were threatenign to take the child away for ‘child endangerment’
Aopparently accidents are no logner aLLOwed- DESPITE the FACT that acciddnts are extremely rare- and auto accidents have killed FAR FAR more kids than accidental gun shots i nthe home ever have- Adn you watch- pretty soon the states wil lbegin removign children from their families when parents drive htem anywahere under the guise of ‘chuild endangerment’ and if a home has ANY potential hazzard in it, the child will be removed IF an extremely rare accident were to happen and the child were injured accidentally
Proudest I've ever been of a parent was when their three year old son bodyblocked an older child from picking up an airsoft gun, apologizing to the boy, but explaining that it looked too real and had to be checked out by an adult, and could the older child go get one?
While that was impressive, the parents of the older child came a fair runner up when they recognized a critical lack of education of their child, and then enlisted others at the party to teach their child to understand about firearms as well as that three year old.
Their personal beliefs were incredibly anti-gun, and somehow assumed that their child had picked up the same beliefs and were shocked that the child would have even attempted to touch a gun. However, they were not stupid when it came time to face reality. After the incident, all three underwent additional firearms training, and the couple became quite the avid target shooters. As they said last week, education removed a lot of fears they had.
They're still horribly liberal in a lot of opinions, but there is some vague hope that they'll grow out of that.
[[But whats with parents letting their kids rummage around in someones house?]]
When you’re visiting with someoen, do you keep a cosntant eye on the children? I know most parents don’t- they visit with the person they went to visit with- minutes tick by, child isn’t in the room- they hear child’s voices, think ‘the kids are havign a good time- little billy bob seems to have made a friend, which is good because we were a little worried abvout his bizzarre habit of isolationism and trancelike stares when listenign to goth music- oh well, good for him’ and hten goes on visiting with the person- perhaps gettign yup minutes later to just go check o nthe children- A LOT can happen in just a fewm inutes- (I set soem woods on fire accidently durign soem minutes i nwhich I escaped my parents supervision- foudn soem gas, soem matches, and tried ‘startign a campfire’ Yeahm, that went well.
“Something does not seem right about this story.”
My thought exactly. The size and strength of a 4 year olds hands makes me question this.
From other news, they had just arrived at the friend’s house a few minutes before the incident happened. That’s why I wonder if the guy even had time to child proof the house. But I stand by kids should be taught to no mess with what isn’t theirs. Hope this kid has learned that lesson.
It is tragic no matter what happened. Whenever my grandchildren, all 5 yrs and under, visit the guns are either in the safe or well out of reach and out of site. The same thing any time someone else’s child is present. I guess some people don’t think these things through. So sad for all involved.
That seems an odd time to have a gun lesson.
"Dad - I need both hands to aim !"
I can’t see anywhere in the story that states the gun was a handgun or revolver. Assuming the “gun” was not an actual artillery piece, the real identity of the piece is left open to speculation.
Thanks for that post. I get so damn tired of these FReepers who just cannot ever accept that something is what it is and there's no conspiracy of withheld information or anything else at play. Frustrated group of Sherlock Holmes would-bes, I suppose.
Kids at that age are remarkably strong. I once saw one of my great nieces pick up a box that was twice her size and probably her own weight or more when she was 2 years old. They also tend to be impulsive and strong willed. You can spend hours telling a 3, 4 or 5 year old about the dangers of touching a hot stove or about running out into the street but despite that counseling and education, they will still sometimes touch the hot stove or run out into the street after a ball or a dog kids at that age can understand but often act on impulse because they dont yet have the ability to assess a situation and think things through before acting.
Thanks for that post. I get so damn tired of these FReepers who just cannot ever accept that something is what it is and there's no conspiracy of withheld information or anything else at play. Frustrated group of Sherlock Holmes would-bes, I suppose
You really don’t allow your grandkids into your home? Really? Honest and truly? Ever? (just asking cos we carry, the grandkids are here a lot, and we take measures to assure they will never find a gun) Not being snarky, just feeling bad for the time they’ve missed with you.
Being a single guy can be cool, but you have to keep the children away from danger.
That's almost too cliche to be a real utterance. It is hard to believe even a four year old would not know what a gun was, much less to ask with finger on the trigger.
How come these cases of kids finding a gun always result in death? Pretty good shots for kids who don't know what they're doing. Maybe we don't hear about the cases where someone is only wounded?
Is this a good .40 or a 9mm?