Local News

After Raleigh child's shooting, police warn of gun design

Posted February 24, 2011

— Police on Thursday warned the public about the design of a pellet gun involved in the fatal shooting this week of an 8-year-old Raleigh boy.

Ty-Rion Henry, a second-grader at Lynn Road Elementary School, died Tuesday after he was accidentally shot in the head at home the previous day.

The boy's grandfather, Daniel Henry, was shooting at squirrels outside and placed his pellet gun at the foot of the stairs when he came back inside, the family said. As Ty-Rion was coming downstairs, Henry checked to make sure the gun's safety latch was on, and he accidentally hit the trigger, shooting the boy.

The pellet went through the boy's eye and lodged in his brain.

Lt. Andy Murr of the Raleigh Police Department said the safety on the pellet gun is immediately in front of the trigger.

Several manufacturers have a similar design, Murr said, and police want to make the public aware of the issue. Other guns have safety latches in different places, he said.

Gun design in Ty-Rion Henry's death Police: Safety was near trigger on gun in child's shooting

"Take extra care with this type of weapon or with this design," he said. "We want to prevent tragedies like this happening."

Murr said law enforcement would help people dispose of any weapons that they no longer want. For people who own firearms, he said, education is key to safely storing and using them.

After consulting with Wake County prosecutors, police decided not to file any charges in the case.

Ty-Rion's funeral is set for noon March 2 at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Raleigh.


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  • lowepg Feb 25, 2011

    It's not about the safety on the rifle. Its about people using common sense:
    1. treat every gun as if its loaded
    2. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
    3. Keep your finger away from the trigger until you're ready to fire
    4. Keep guns unloaded until ready to use.

    If you break ONE of those rules- you're still safe. You can even break two of them. But this guy broke ALL OF THEM. And thats why there was this terrible tragedy.

  • lowepg Feb 25, 2011

    trianglerelic- your conclusion is severely flawed. Ballistics isnt just velocity, its velocity AND MASS. While airguns and .22lr can have similar velocity, the mass of the projectile is about 40g vs ~8g for pellets. So expect a .22 to have at least 5 times more energy than a pellet.

    For some odd reason, you also pulled data for .22CB? Fairly uncommon for people shooting .22. Standard velocity .22LR should be what your comparing.

    At any rate: pellet guns, bb guns (rubber band guns, slingshots, rocks and sticks) can all be deadly when used negligently.

    A completely AVOIDABLE tragedy if this guy used the most basic common sense.

  • bonitasalsera Feb 25, 2011

    What in the world? Y would he even point the gun at him while cheking it? Didnt he even think that accidents happen? Gorgeous little boy died and no charges r being filed? Should be charged for negligence. Guns should not be pointed at anyone at all and thats the bottom line. RIP little boy,

  • RB-1 Feb 24, 2011

    Kinda late for that child.

    Praying for those who loved him.

  • MitziGaynor Feb 24, 2011


    What a horrific accident. Very, very sad.

  • trianglerelic Feb 24, 2011

    All US guns manufactured post (federal Gun Control Act of 1968) should include a passive drop safety. This means that the trigger MUST be depressed in order for the weapon to fire. Accidentally dropping a modern firearm should not cause it to discharge unless the trigger is also depressed.
    There are also a number of Active and Passive safety devices ranging from Manual Safety, Grip Safety, Decocker, Saftey Notches, Firing Pin Blocks, Hammer Blocks, Transfer Bars, Bolt Interlocks, Trigger Disconnects, Magazine disconnects, Integrated Trigger Safeties..
    Ultimately, a safety is a mechanical device that can fail over time. I've been shooting for 35 years and have fired many different types of guns. Looking at the air rifle in question, this is somewhat of an odd configuration for a safety. I'm guessing that since Pellet guns are not considered to be firearms, that they also don't have to meet the same requirements for firearms. If they did, this may not have happened...

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Feb 24, 2011

    It's too bad the PD didn't send the CORRECT message.

    This poor child died because someone didn't follow basic firearms safety .

    1) Never point any weapon, loaded or unloaded, at anything you DON'T want to destroy.

  • james27613 Feb 24, 2011

    Interesting that the Detective at the news briefing told the public that the Police will help the public with any firearms they no longer want in their homes, they will see that they are destroyed!


  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Feb 24, 2011

    "what firearms have no safety (mechanism)"

    Every revolver.

    Most DAO (double action only automatics) (Keltec, etc)

  • james27613 Feb 24, 2011

    Most modern revolvers now have an internal safety lock,
    you use a small key (Allen wrench type) to 'lock' the gun safety in place. Check out the S&W 686, Ruger Mark III, etc.