|Sincere Smith, age 2|
From an article:
Authorities say a 2-year-old boy died on Christmas Day after he grabbed a loaded gun left on a table in a home in Conway and shot himself.
Horry County Police said Wednesday they arrested the 30-year-old man who brought the gun into the home. Rondell Smith is charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Investigators say the boy found the gun on the table around 6 p.m. Tuesday and shot himself in the chest. He died on the way to the hospital. His name has not been released because all his relatives have not been notified.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.
UPDATE (12/30/12): The deceased boy's name is Sincere Smith, and his father, Rondell, blames himself and is inconsolable after he allowed the gun to get into his son's hands. From an article:
The boy’s father, Rondell Smith, paced in circles in front of his mother-in-law’s home, tears streaming down his face, saying over and over, “My son is gone. My son is gone.”
He was inconsolable by family.
“I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. … I miss his voice. I hear him calling me. I held him close,” Smith said. “Why couldn’t it be me?”
Nearly 48 hours prior, 2-year-old Sincere Smith got hold of his father’s gun that was sitting on a table and shot himself. He died en route to Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. A senseless accident, the boy’s family said. ....
Sincere, who would have turned 3 in March, is remembered as a good big brother who was protective of his 9-month-old sister Samiya and loved McDonald’s french fries and Nick Jr. – especially “Jack’s Big Music Show.”
“He would sing and dance. He sang every song. He knew every song,” said LaKisha Brown Smith, Sincere’s mother. “He was very smart. He knew all of his colors and he knew how to count forwards and backwards.” ....
Smith, 30, was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and released from jail Wednesday on a $500 bond. He said no punishment by the law would suffice.
“Going to jail ain’t even enough,” he said. “Whatever’s coming to me is coming to me.”
Tears steadily ran down Smith’s face as he recalled the day his son died. About two weeks ago, Smith said someone tried to break into his home while he and his family were there. He said he felt like he was nothing because we wouldn’t have been able to protect his family. So he got a gun.
Brown Smith left for work around 6 p.m. and Smith called her shortly after she left.
“The phone went straight to voicemail. By the time I stopped calling and turned around, he’d killed both of us,” he said of the gun going off in Sincere’s hands.
Gaskin said she hopes the family will be able to hold Sincere’s memorial service on Monday at Mason Temple in Conway, but she had to special order a casket small enough to hold him.
“I got his outfit today,” she said on Thursday. “It’s an all-white suit.”
(a related article)