A 19-year-old North Carolina man described by his wife as a selfless person who “would do anything for anyone,” is dead today after showing his 11-year-old stepdaughter his new handgun, but forgetting that there was a bullet in the chamber.
Though Bryan Scott Reno had removed the magazine containing bullets from the .380 caliber handgun, the girl accidentally fired the gun, shooting Reno in the chest and killing him.
"It goes back to an untrained child given a firearm and the end result is a fatality,” said Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman. “You’ve got this child that’s going to be affected the rest of her life and carry this with her.”
Reno (pictured, with wife Pamela) was killed Friday with the gun he had purchased earlier in the same day.
“The stepfather had actually purchased a firearm yesterday from a friend,” Norman said on Saturday. “He had taken the clip out of the firearm and was looking at the gun and showing the firearm to the stepdaughter. He handed the firearm to the daughter. We don’t know if the stepfather knew there was one actually in the chamber.”
A call came in to 911 operators at 10:45 p.m. Friday from Pamela Reno, the victim’s 35-year-old wife, who had been sleeping at the time of the shooting. The Reno family lived in a mobile home at 421 Lemmons Road in Moorseboro, N.C.. They moved in a few weeks before the incident, neighbors told the Charlotte Observer newspaper.
Though an investigation into the shooting is underway, Norman does not expect charges to be filed.
Pamela Reno had been married to her husband for less than a year but described him as the love of her life.
“He wanted to better himself and better me and my kids,” she told a Cleveland County newspaper. “He did anything he could to help me. He helped my kids with their homework.”
SOURCES: Charlotte Observer, Shelby Star