2-Year-Old Boy May Have Shot, Killed His Father, Alabama Police Say

| by Maura Turcotte

A toddler may have accidentally been the cause of death for his father in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, police say.

A woman, who declined to be named, came home Tuesday evening to her apartment in Hoover, Alabama, to only discover her 31-year-old husband dead, CNN notes. According to police reports, the man -- who was identified on Wednesday as Divine Vaniah Chambliss -- died of a bullet wound to the head.

"The man was shot with a handgun but I can't say any more," Hoover police detective Gregg Rector stated, according to CNN. "The gun was owned by the victim, not sure who it was registered to."

Additionally, as the police revealed, at the time of the man’s death, there was very little evidence that anyone  else was home except for the couple’s 2-year-old son. In a press release, the police stated that the man and the boy "were possibly the only two individuals who were present when the incident occurred."

"I can't completely go out on a limb and say it was accidental or how he was shot, but the mother of the child called us and said she discovered him and thinks their son may have shot him," police detective Rector said. "We don't have any indications of an intruder or any indication that gunshot was self-inflicted."

"It's certainly a tragedy, regardless of how it occurred," the detective told WVTM, according to NBC News.

Many in the community also expressed sympathy for the family’s loss, including the victim’s pastor.

“I think that the family, as well as the community, should be coming together to pray for this family,” Bishop Theo Bailey told WIAT-TV, according to the New York Daily News. “This is a young man who has a wife and children and we must embrace them and help them through this difficult time.”

The police have scheduled an autopsy for Wednesday. Until the results of the exam come back, police will continue with their search, including determining if a toddler could shoot a handgun.

Nonetheless, as the press release said, "This investigation is still in its very early stages and detectives are not completely ruling out other possibilities."

Sources: CNN, NBC News, NY Daily News

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