Local News

Father charged in accidental shooting of 20-month-old

Posted May 19, 2010

— A Halifax County father was charged Sunday after a 20-month-old boy shot himself in the foot while playing with a gun.

Timothy Eugene Russell Jr., of Aurelian Springs, was charged with storage of a firearm accessible to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was released on a $2,500 bond and scheduled to appear in court June 9.

Detective Jonathan Merritt, with the Halifax County Sheriff's Office, said the boy was brought to Halifax Regional Medical Center on Feb. 18 to be treated for a gunshot wound on his foot.

Merrit said that investigators determined that Russell was repairing a gun and left it on a washing machine, where the boy was able to get a hold of it.


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  • hcso126 May 20, 2010

    crustyhalo .... noone is wrong here you just quoted the wrong statute by MISTAKE! You said... "G.S 14-318.4." This is the general statute for felony child abuse and from what I read that charge was never mentioned. He was charged though with contributing to the deliquency of a minor G. S. 14-316.1 which states "Any person who is at least 16 years old who knowingly or willfully causes, encourages, or aids any juvenile within the jurisdiction of the court to be in a place or condition, or to commit an act whereby the juvenile could be adjudicated delinquent, undisciplined, abused, or neglected as defined by G.S. 7B‑101 and G.S. 7B‑1501 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    It is not necessary for the district court exercising juvenile jurisdiction to make an adjudication that any juvenile is delinquent, undisciplined, abused, or neglected in order to prosecute a parent or any person, including an employee of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention under thi

  • Isabella May 20, 2010

    Your welcome. I really hope the police and district attorney realize that this doesn't even come close to justifying charges. Ridiculous.

  • chellechelle2007 May 20, 2010

    Thank you for that. Our family is going through ALOT and all i'm asking is for respect and privacy.

  • Isabella May 20, 2010

    I am glad your nephew is doing fine and I hope your brother can forgive himself for an accident that was just that, an accident.

    And for all you who were so quick to judge him, how does that shoe taste now? Still have some rocks left because I think there is a story about a mom and what she fed her child for lunch yesterday.

  • chellechelle2007 May 20, 2010

    People are so quick to judge and this is not the whole story. This is a kind man that would to anything for his kids and would never harm them in any way>> For i should know this is my brother and the baby is my nephew. The gun was not left on the washing machine as stated, it was in the cabinent above the washing machine. My nephew climbed on the laundry basket and then climbed on the washing machine and got the gun. My brother did not know it was loaded, he was working on it for my other brother, and was unaware it was loaded. My other brother had just dropped it off for my brother to look at, he said that it was not working and he didn't know what was wrong with it. My nephew grabbed the gun and dropped it and it went off and shot him in the foot, Obviously the bullet was lodged in the gun. This was a terrible ACCIDENT that my brother has to live with for the rest of his life and should not be put on display and made to look like a bad guy. People get the whole story before putting

  • mulecitybabe May 19, 2010

    Everyday in this country kids are physically and sexually abused by their parents. Kids are beat and locked in closets without toilets or food. They are left laying in their cribs in dirty diapers for days on end while their parents are out doing drugs. Do you people really think this young father falls into that category? He made a mistake, like everybody does. I've lived to the ripe old age of 50 and I had my share of childhood injuries, but nobody thought to put my parents in prison.

  • Faceman May 19, 2010

    repairing a loaded gun?? are you kidding me??..That story does not add up..Who repairs a loaded gun?..thinks..maybe it was jammed..but still..a 20 month old is not tall enough to reach to the top of the washer..unless he was up there too..Poor judgement on the gun owner..Im glad he was Charged with a crime.

  • Mr. Sensible May 19, 2010

    Oh,, see it,down and right. " Man tries to trade baby for beer" What is it all coming to.

  • Mr. Sensible May 19, 2010

    What can we do about the mindlessness. Can we outlaw ignorance and stupidity? I don't know. I think that all this lies along the lines of survival of the fitist, like the animal world. Except wisest for the human world. It's a shame too. Not all ignorant mindless people are bad people. Some are really humble. How can we wake people up and bring their attention to enlightenment. Spread the word. Ignorance ain't something to be ashamed of. It's something that needs to be overcome.

  • Isabella May 19, 2010

    KermitDFrog - that one defies understanding but that is a mistake also (tho I would probably classify that as more stupidity) so an appropriate punishment would be to take away his gun permit and gun and not allow him to get another permit for a certain amount of time; and even then only after completing a safety course (which IMHO should be mandatory anyways).

    My big beef is that there should not be felony charges for an accident like this. We have become a society that needs to blame someone and make them pay for everything and anything. Sometimes things just happen and it sucks big time. It can even be someone's fault without feeling they need to pay with jail time. Putting this man in jail will not help his toddler. Helping him avoid the (stupid) mistake again will.

    Mr. Sensible - exactly. Anything can end up hurting and killing someone. Would we be having this issue if he had left a knife on the counter and the toddler got a hold of it and stabbed himself in the foot?