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Weldon girl accidentally killed by loaded rifle; two relatives charged

Posted August 10, 2010
Updated August 16, 2010

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— Two Weldon men were arrested Monday night after a 4-year-old girl was accidentally shot and killed, according to the Halifax County Sheriff's Office.

Several children were playing upstairs in a home at 106 Beech Court while adults were downstairs cooking. The children found a loaded rifle, and the gun went off after one child tossed it, authorities said.

Marquisa Keonta "KeKe" Moody was wounded and was taken to Halifax Regional Medical center, where she was pronounced dead.

Derrick Mayo, 32, the girl's uncle, and Marke Parker, 18, a cousin, were home with the children when the shooting took place, Lt. B.L. Martin said in a statement.

"The weapon was allegedly stored in a upstairs closet in Mayo's room," Martin said.

Mayo was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, storing a weapon in a manner accessible by a minor, conspiracy and simple possession of marijuana. He was released after posting a $15,500 bond and has a Sept. 1 court date.

Weldon girl killed after children find loaded gun in closet Girl killed after children find loaded gun in closet

Parker was charged with storing a weapon in a manner accessible by a minor and conspiracy. He was released on a $2,000 bond and also has a Sept. 1 court date.

Halifax County Sheriff Jeff Frazier said the incident serves as a painful reminder of the importance to keep guns locked away from children.

"Nothing good happens. Even these two guys, they didn't mean for anything to happen," Frazier said. "It's senseless, just devastating to the whole family."

Mayo and Parker declined to comment Tuesday.

A recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that 36 percent of parents who own guns store them loaded. Forty-five percent of respondents said they don't use gun locks when storing firearms, and 57 percent said they try to store weapons in places where children can't get to them.

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  • nighthunter Aug 11, 2010

    fkozlof -the study to which you refer has been disproven a number of times, including by this one: WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE? by Don B. Kates LLB. and Gary Mauser, PhD. Published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol.30, #2. Available at Gary Mauser's web site.

    I and my brother, too, grew up with loaded firearms in the house, and was trained from the age of 2 how to handle them AND not to touch them without express permission from my parents. Also, FYI, BOTH parents could shoot. And lastly- given that the lock requirement is to prevent CHILDREN from accidentally discharging a firearm, why on earth would you store a weapon unloaded and locked away if there aren't children in the house?

  • wildcat Aug 11, 2010

    What was their explaination to the children's parents?

  • wildcat Aug 11, 2010

    Every summer when school is out this happens. When are parents of children going to learn before its too late.

  • wildcat Aug 11, 2010

    Careless and wreckless adults who should certainly be charged. All guns in a house should be locked up with or without children in the home. Learn the safety of having a loaded gun around and what can happen before bringing it into the home. I pray these two will get life in prison.

  • LOC Aug 11, 2010

    This is so sad. Praying for all familes involved.

  • dixieboy Aug 11, 2010

    When a gun is legally purchased , a copy of an N.C. statute is provided to the purchaser . it states that it is a crime to store a gun in a manner accessible to children- this means a safe or locked enclosure. HOWEVER , since this man was a convicted felon , I hope the investigation will find where or who he got the firearm from and take appropriate action.

  • theroadislong Aug 11, 2010

    So incredibly sad. But, there was a story on here not too long ago about a young child (can't remember if it was a boy or girl) who grabbed a gun that was sitting on the counter and accidently shot themself, and died. There were adults and relatives around. I think the story said that it was a relative's home. But no one was charged. Why? What's the difference between the two sotries? Nothing!

    "A recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that 36 percent of parents who own guns store them loaded."

    An unloaded gun is useless, so of course people store them loaded.

  • AtALost Aug 10, 2010

    What good is a gun, when it's locked up? Sue

    There are safes you can get into within seconds. This comment and others like it are hopefully from those who don't own firearms. I also grew up when kids were severely punished for disobeying their parents. We didn't have the internet so word didn't spread as quickly, however, there were still "accidents" where kids were killed by unsecured weapons. That's why some states have laws for those too ignorant to know that kids and adults will disobey rules.

    As for teaching kids how to handle firearms, that sounds good but there are adults who don't handle them properly despite hours of training.

    As for the police 'doing their job', they rarely arrive while a crime is being committed. Their main job is to determine who is responsible and capture them so the courts can decide punishment. I prefer to be the one being punished instead of the one being buried. However, I respect your right to have it the other way.

  • oleguy Aug 10, 2010

    I keep loaded guns at 4 places in my house,,,
    Come and try to get one,,,
    Was raised in A house with several guns loaded all around, I knew better than touch one,, Unless we went hunting, and we ate what we shot.

  • itsmyownopinion Aug 10, 2010

    "A recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that 36 percent of parents who own guns store them loaded. Forty-five percent of respondents said they don't use gun locks when storing firearms, and 57 percent said they try to store weapons in places where children can't get to them."

    WOW! Now, does every home need a gun?
    What a shame this four year old didn't have real protection, someone to protect her from her idiot gun-owning relatives.

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