Local News

Raleigh toddler dies of accidental gunshot

Posted June 22, 2010

— A 2-year-old Raleigh boy was killed Tuesday morning after he grabbed a gun from a counter and accidentally shot himself, Vance County authorities said.

Timothy Atwater Jr. and his mother were visiting relatives at 491 Daniel Harris Road outside Henderson at the time of the shooting, Sheriff Peter White said.

He was taken to Maria Parham Hospital where he died.

Investigators are still looking into what happened and have not said whether any charges would be filed in the case.

An aerial view of the residence shortly after the shooting showed people carrying guns out of the home.

The location operated as Granny's Cokesbury Nursery and Playschool until it closed in November 2008, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It no longer has a license.

Family members and neighbors declined to talk about what happened. Neighbors did say however, that the older couple who lives at the residence is very well respected and that they cannot believe what happened.


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  • fishon Jun 23, 2010

    REAL gun control would help...because with real gun control, only law enforcement officers would have them,

    Rayville 3-year-old kills cousin with gun of his father, a police officer
    Published: Thursday, December 31, 2009, 8:32 PM

  • PJM Jun 23, 2010

    Condolences to the Family! AND May God hold this family in their time of need. Why can't we just pray for this family instead of being so harsh & critical! They just lost a young life!

  • sthrnbelle211 Jun 23, 2010

    This is an awful tragedy and I have to stop and wonder how many people that have critcized in this forum have not made an irresponsible mistake and how lucky we are that something horrible didn't happen to us? Really, people? Just because you have an opinion doesn't mean you need to publicize it. A baby died...a baby died.

  • lulu69 Jun 23, 2010

    I'm sorry for the loss. I can't imagine the pain this family is going though. BUT GUNS SHOULD BE LOCKED UP WHEN NOT IN USE ESPECIALLY WHEN CHILDREN ARE AROUND. THIS "ACCIDENT" could have easily been prevented.

  • wakeconative4ever Jun 22, 2010

    Many thoughts and prayers to all involved. A mother lost a son today. That is the only "fact" that matters at this time. Let the police do their work and investigate properly.

  • headlong Jun 22, 2010

    FamilyFour...She just showed me pictures of little TJ *tears* His BIG brown eyes and a smile that would melt a heart!!!

  • celiabrinker Jun 22, 2010

    I live in Henderson and understand that this daycare closed several years ago due to the owner being elderly and ill. The daycare was in her home which is now also occupied by her grandson. This shooting had nothing to do with daycares. It never should have come into the discussion. However, Granny will be even more devistated because of her love for children.

  • FromClayton Jun 22, 2010

    my 2 month old son "gave" his daddy a gun safe for father;s day....walmart- $80...could save his life....whats so hard about that?

    everyone on here with a gun and a child go to wally world right now and get something to lock it up....responsibility people!

  • irishale Jun 22, 2010

    First off, my condolences to the family and all involved in this tragedy.

    "An aerial view of the residence shortly after the shooting showed people carrying guns out of the home."

    'guns'? Seems to me the only gun that should be removed from the property is the one involved in this tragedy, unless there are other 'crimes' that the other guns are involved in.

    I always scratch my head when anything happens at a residence that requires the police to visit, they always remove all guns from the house from the home/building. Why? Knee-jerk reaction?

    Somebody who is a LEO please explain this to me....

  • familyfour Jun 22, 2010


    I must disagree.

    Children getting shot is almost never an "accident", it is an incident. Some things CAN be prevented.

    Headlong, I am sorry for all the losses involved.

    I am an avid backer of the right to bear arms....properly.

    When guns are accidentally accessible to a two year old, I really don't consider that accidental. Careless, horrible, terrible, and tragic, but accidents are unavoidable, this was not unavoidable. It could have been prevented.
    If one owns a gun, they should own a gun cabinet, and exercise his her right to keep it safely.