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Boy's Death Highlights Importance of Firearm Safety

Two Lonoke County families are mourning the loss of a 3-year-old boy who accidently shot and killed himself Sunday.
LONOKE COUNTY, AR - Two families in Lonoke County are dealing with a tragic death, after a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself Sunday.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said it happened around 4:00 Sunday afternoon at the boy's neighbor's house on Kerr Station Road.

Sheriff Staley said the couple had just arrived home from the store when the boy followed them into their house and into their bedroom when he found a gun on the nightstand.

"The wife of the gentleman was changing her shirt, he was in the room too. She turned around and saw the child with the gun, she kinda screamed. She's hearing impaired so, the husband had stepped out, all he could hear was a gunshot when he stepped out of the room," explained the sheriff.

Sheriff Staley said it happened fast, within minutes. We learned the boy often went to his neighbor's home, who turn out to be his godparents. Authorities said both families are close.

"It wasn't a planned visit, so he didn't have time to take the precautions that he usually took," said Sheriff Staley.

Planned or not, authorities said it boils down to education and you've got to be vigilant. Nathan House provides concealed carry classes at the Arkansas Armory in Sherwood and urges all gun owners to learn more about firearm safety.

"There's not a gun that leaves here without a trigger lock. At the same time there are also other additional steps you can take, lock boxes," said House.

Whether it'd be a trigger lock, gun vault, or concealed carry classes, House wants you to make use of available resources.

"There are materials available that are out there free of charge to have and to be able to open that dialogue with your kids," said House.

Sheriff Staley said right now, no charges have been filed. It will be up to the prosecutor once the investigation is complete.

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