The father and gun owner, Derek Carlile, is now on trial.
A police officer, Derek had thought himself "a stickler for safety" by locking his guns in a safe and "demystifying" guns to his kids by buying them toy guns, shooting BB guns with them, and teaching them how guns work.
Though locking guns is important, it is better not to have guns around children at all. Even the best-behaved children, including his son, are naturally curious and impetuous, with fatal consequences.
From an article:
The shooting of 7-year-old Jenna Carlile was a tragedy, but also a foreseeable consequence of the Camano Island man leaving his loaded .38-caliber revolver in the van's cup holder, deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul said.
Evidence will show the off-duty officer made a series of unsafe choices March 10 in handling the weapon and as a result placed his children at risk, Paul told jurors.
Carlile accepts fault for his role in the shooting and "it's something he wishes he could change, but he can't," Seattle defense attorney David Allen said.
Still, he urged jurors to keep an open mind and let the evidence guide their decision.
"This was a terrible, tragic accident but it wasn't a crime," Allen said.
Carlile has worked as a patrol officer in Marysville for about three years. Allen described him as a stickler for gun safety, and somebody who has made a habit of locking up his firearms in a 600-pound safe at his home when he isn't carrying them for his job.
In keeping with his training, the officer had taken steps to "demystify" firearms for his children, teaching them how they work as part of a strategy aimed at encouraging safety, Allen said.
Testimony will show that Carlile provided his son with toy guns and on at least one occasion helped his 3-year-old shoot a BB gun, Paul said.
The boy was fascinated with his father's firearms, and at times would try to get into the safe in an attempt to play with them, she said.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.