Police: Gun that killed Fayetteville toddler was illegally owned
Posted October 21, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — Police said Monday that the Fayetteville man charged in the accidental shooting death of his daughter over the weekend should never have had a gun in the house because he's a convicted felon.
Melvin Andre Clark Jr., 19, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was in the Cumberland County jail Monday under a $50,000 bond.
Clark's 2-year-old daughter, Samarri Tyana Beauford, found a loaded .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun hidden under the living room couch on Saturday afternoon, and the gun went off when she grabbed it, police said. She died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
Clark wasn't at home at the time of the shooting. His mother and younger sister also lived in the home at 2669 Graham Road with him and his daughter.
The family declined to comment Monday, but a neighbor said the involuntary manslaughter charge was uncalled for. Clark loved his daughter and worked hard to take care of her, and the shooting was an accident, said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified.
Lt. Todd Joyce of the Fayetteville Police Department said "the reckless storage of the gun" and the "disregard for the safety of others" warranted the charge.
Joyce also noted Clark had the gun illegally.
Two years ago, Clark was convicted on four counts of breaking and entering and larceny and was placed on probation.
He faces up to seven years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge.