Local News

Father faces charges in Fayetteville toddler's death

Posted October 20, 2013
Updated October 21, 2013

— Fayetteville police arrested a man Sunday in the death of his 2-year-old daughter, who accidentally shot herself.

Melvin Andre Clark Jr., 19, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

2-year-old killed Father arrested in toddler's death in Fayetteville

Police said Clark left a loaded .22 semi-automatic pistol under the couch in his living room, where his daughter, Samarri Tyana Beauford, was playing Saturday.

The toddler found the gun and accidentally shot herself, police said. She was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center about 12:30 p.m., where she later died.

No one else in the home was injured.

Clark was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center on Sunday evening under a $50,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.

78 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 24, 2:46 p.m.

    @vinnied said, "If the firearm would have been in a secured location, this would not have happened."

    Will you agree with me that all guns should be secured from children and bad guys?

    I mean, securing guns (and ammo) will save thousands of lives every year (many of them children) AND it would keep thousands of illegal guns on the street?...so who wouldn't want that? And if they didn't, they should be forced to protect people other than themselves. How do you think the gun folks will react to this? With a welcoming attitude?

  • vinnied Oct 21, 4:40 p.m.

    The parents are to blame, the father is a convicted felon, not the firearm, and certainly not the NRA. Their main focus is firearm training and safety. If the firearm would have been in a secured location, this would not have happened. Who would leave rat poison in a candy dish? To a child it's candy. Who would leave a loaded firearm lying around? To a child it's a toy.

  • monami Oct 21, 4:18 p.m.

    This guy already has pending charges on the court calendar. One is for cruelty to animals, another: resisting officer. And he got community service for multiple B&E's and larcenies, drugs, and possession of firearm by minor. What a gem.

  • theblazer Oct 21, 3:53 p.m.

    And if they required special safes for storage when the owner was not in his house, this would keep millions of guns off streets...and probably save thousands of lives too.

    Well if it's going to be required then we should implement some form of gun care - an insurance for my guns. Since my gun is pre-existing then it can pay for my safe and any accidents that happen with them. And you will get to pay for it. Sound good?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 21, 3:32 p.m.

    There should be extra strict laws for gun owners who don't secure their weapons...on top of regular charges for accidental injury & death.

    And if they required special safes for storage when the owner was not in his house, this would keep millions of guns off streets...and probably save thousands of lives too.

  • levelopourdeux Oct 21, 2:42 p.m.

    I didn't say there weren't laws for those things. I was saying if your argument is we shouldn't pass any gun control laws bc criminals won't follow them, then logically we shouldn't have any other laws either because criminals won't follow them.

  • anonymous99 Oct 21, 2:36 p.m.

    It's interesting to me that this thread seems to have coalesced around gun rights instead of this guy's right to raise a child. The gun could have just as easily have been a bottle of prescription meds.

    As others have pointed out, he's a felon. He did not have the right to own the gun in the first place. Why does he have the right to "raise" a child?

    Poor little girl...

  • tdouble232323 Oct 21, 2:36 p.m.

    "If we shouldn't have gun control laws because criminals won't follow the law, we shouldn't have anti murder/robbery/rape/whatever laws because criminals won't follow laws, right?"

    Already plenty of laws on the books for both.

  • monami Oct 21, 2:35 p.m.

    Mentally ill people shouldn't have guns. Criminals shouldn't have guns. Children shouldn't have guns. Drunk people shouldn't have guns. People on drugs shouldn't have guns. People with anger issues shouldn't have guns. Non-criminals who will become criminals shouldn't have guns.

    Well then, how do all these people get their hands on guns?

    Anyone notice a problem between the "shouldn't"s and reality? I do.

  • levelopourdeux Oct 21, 2:33 p.m.

    If we shouldn't have gun control laws because criminals won't follow the law, we shouldn't have anti murder/robbery/rape/whatever laws because criminals won't follow laws, right?

More...