Local News

Family plans funeral for toddler shot on Christmas Eve

Posted December 29, 2008
Updated January 2, 2009

— The family of Pharell Hinton announced funeral plans Monday for the 3-year-old who police believe was playing with his father's 9 mm handgun when he shot himself on Christmas Eve.

His father, Eric Eugene Hinton, was arrested on Christmas Day and charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Hinton, 26, has been on suicide watch at the Wake County Jail since his arrest.

Pharell's funeral service will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Haywood Funeral Home, 2415 S. Wilmington St., in Raleigh.


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  • bekahleighrn Dec 30, 2008

    All I want to know is why weren't the police that arrived first doing CPR on the child? It didn't sound like they were on the 911 tape... Aren't they supposed to act as first responders until Fire/EMS can get to the scene?

  • Phrostbite Dec 30, 2008

    This is just a sickening, disgusting, fully preventable tragedy. I really feel deeply for this family & the father. However, when you are a parent, certain levels of stupidity just aren't permissable. He has to face the consequences for allowing this to happen. Hopefully he will be able to mentally recover & realize harming himself can't change what has happened & would only increase the suffering of his loved ones.

  • headlong Dec 30, 2008

    I hope they allow the Father to be there Friday...He needs to be there to at least get a chance to say Good-Bye. Most cases I would be against it...but it was an accident. I understand Father should have had gun up, secured, put away, etc...it should not have been out while children there.

  • garnertoy Dec 30, 2008

    this father will suffer more himself than what jail could do may the family find peace.

  • 2beachy4u Dec 30, 2008

    God bless this family and what they are going through. This time of year will never be the same for them. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Dec 30, 2008

    I don't have too much sympathy for people who are not smart enough to secure a firearm. To make it even worse, the guy left it loaded with a round in the chamber. No three year old has enough strength or knowledge to rack the slide of a semi-auto pistol. The child is innocent but the father should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

  • SouthernLady05 Dec 30, 2008

    I feel terrible for the family of this young boy. Terrible. Also, the law enforcement officers, emt's, fire/rescue that had to see this sceen... I pray for you peace of mind.

    Not to take away from the sense of loss for this father but, looking at his history in the DOC Public access system, the father has had quite a history. He most certianly hadn't been living his life right, and what as a prior convicted felon... he shouldn't have had a gun in the first place.

    Maybe this tradgey will cause him to turn his life around. That may be the only good that can come of such a terrible loss.

  • JaydensMom08 Dec 30, 2008

    This story breaks my heart. I listened to the 911 call and it was the saddest thing I've ever heard! I feel so bad for the father, yes he should have put his gun in a safe place where the child couldn't find it, but as ECU Alumni said people do make mistakes and 3 year olds are curious beings. I'm so sorry for everyone involved in this. I just hope that somehow this young father can forgive himself and be there for his other children. RIP Pharell

  • shellbelle Dec 30, 2008

    Such a senseless act of violence. It's just too sad. My thoughts are with all involved... I can't even imagine what the father - and mother are going through.

  • mom2threecld Dec 30, 2008

    this is heart breaking, i can not even begin to imagine how this family feels loosing this child. prayers to the family, may the baby rest in peace