Father Charged After 4-Year-Old Shot Himself - Opposing Views

Father Charged After 4-Year-Old Shot Himself

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An Atlanta father was arrested for cruelty to children after he allegedly did not seek help for his son after the 4-year-old shot himself with a gun.

Shawn Darin Smith, 26, was arrested on Oct. 31 and booked into the DeKalb County Jail, according to Daily Mail.

Smith's son had a gunshot wound. The boy told a social worker that he had shot himself while playing with a firearm, but the child's uncle, who had taken him to the hospital, said the injury had come from a drive-by shooting.

The uncle, Jeffrey Johnson II, said he had been babysitting the 4-year-old when the child was attacked in a drive-by shooting. He reportedly added that the young boy was known to make up stories.

The boy is reported to have survived the injury.

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Johnson was arrested on Feb. 19, according to a police report that did not mention Smith. The boy's uncle was charged with cruelty to children, false report of a crime, reckless conduct and armed robbery.

Smith was arrested for cruelty to children -- deprivation of necessary sustenance. Smith had a previous arrest record, with charges including home invasion with a firearm or other deadly weapon, possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted Florida felon, and use of a firearm during a felony.

Smith's bail was set at $12,500.

In September, a 4-year-old girl in Florida died after she accidentally shot herself with a gun from her grandmother's purse while she was searching the purse for candy, People reports.

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Yanelly Zoller died at her grandparents' Tampa home on Sept. 14 when she reportedly looked through a purse belonging to her grandmother, Christie Zoller, looking for candy, but accidentally pulled the trigger of a gun.

"She just wanted some damn candy," said 22-year-old Shane Zoller, Yanelly's father. Shane explained that Christie and Yanelly's grandfather, Michael Zoller, spent a lot of time with the young girl.

"She was extremely close to them and would get so excited when she got to stay at her nana's house," Shane recalled. "She was attached to her nana's hip."

"My beautiful nan's girl fly high with those angels," wrote Christie on Facebook alongside a photo of the girl, nicknamed Nelly. "Rest with God pop tart."

WebMD recommends keeping any guns in the home locked away from children, and telling children to never touch a gun or gun parts. The site also suggests storing ammunition separately from firearms.

"Tell kids it's never OK to touch a gun unless you're supervised," said Mark Warner, of the shooting range and gun shop Blue Ridge Arsenal. "If no responsible adults are around, and another kid pulls out a gun, you leave right away. And if that happens, you go and tell your parents immediately."

Sources: Daily Mail, People, WebMD / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office via Daily Mail, James Case/Flickr

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