South Carolina authorities say a man took his own life after his 2-year-old son found the family gun and accidentally shot himself.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts relayed the tragic story, saying the mother of 2-year-old Kyree Meyers called 911 after the son stumbled upon the loaded gun in the family’s Colombia home and killed himself.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook described the frantic scene police walked in on to local news outlets. He said the father, Keon Meyers, had a gun pointed at his head upon cops’ arrival, apparently beside himself with grief after witnessing the death of his young son. Calls for him to drop the weapon fell on deaf ears, as Meyers soon fired two fatal shots into his brain.
Police said they will launch an investigation to determine if the father and son were killed by the same weapon.
“We’re still in very preliminary stages, investigators have just arrived on the scene. We will interview any neighbors and people in the area and, hopefully, have a report by the end of the day,” Holbrook said.
He added that the incident has been “emotionally trying for responding officers,” saying they will receive emotional support.
South Carolina has been a staunch defender of individuals’ gun rights, with citizens able to purchase rifles, shotguns, and handguns without a permit. The state also has a strong tradition of the “Castle Doctrine,” which defends the rights of citizens to use a firearm with the intent of deadly force against home intruders.
— Cola Police Dept. SC (@ColumbiaPDSC) September 6, 2017
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