US: 8-year-old boy shoots 1-year-old baby dead using father's gun
According to Florida police, an eight-year-old boy fatally shot a baby while injuring her toddler sister. The boy was playing with his father's gun when the incident happened . According to police, Roderick Randall, the 45-year-old father, was arrested for culpable negligence, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and concealment of evidence. The baby's death is the latest in a series of similar incidents.
The tragedy, which is all too common in a nation where guns abound, happened in a motel in Florida where the boy's father, Randall, and his girlfriend were meeting up. Notably, Randall had a criminal police record that prohibited him from owning a gun. His son was with him, and his girlfriend was with her two-year-old twins and one-year-old daughter.
During a press conference, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons stated that at one point, Randall left his gun "in the closet" and went outside. Knowing where it was, he took it out and began playing with the gun while the baby girl's mother was sleeping. "He pulls the gun from the holster, starts playing with it....fires a round into the one-year-old toddler," he stated.
The bullet, after killing the one-year-old, according to the sheriff, then "goes through and strikes one of the two-year-old toddlers who's injured but is expected to recover." When the father returned, he was reportedly shocked. However, as per reports, he first removed the gun as well as an unidentified substance, possibly drugs, from the motel room before the police arrived.
According to the latest study by an organization named Everytown For Gun Safety, "every year, hundreds of children in the United States (US) gain access to unsecured, loaded guns in closets and nightstand drawers, in backpacks and purses, or just left out." "With tragic regularity, children find these unsecured guns and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else," it added.
As per the organization, which endorses increased firearm regulation, reports that such "unintentional shootings" by juveniles result in an average of 350 deaths per year. According to the Gun Violence Archive website, firearms cause an estimated 40,000 deaths annually in the US, including suicides.
The incident came to light after President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan gun bill into law on Saturday, aimed at preventing dangerous people from obtaining firearms and increasing investment in the mental health system. The legislation effectively ends nearly three decades of stalemate over how to mitigate gun violence in the US, which witnessed deadly mass shootings last month in New York and Texas.