Local News

Ammunition seized from home where toddler shot himself

Posted January 2, 2009 2:31 p.m. EST
Updated January 2, 2009 4:08 p.m. EST

— Raleigh police found two boxes of shotgun shells and a digital scale with a razor blade inside the home where a 3-year-old shot and killed himself late Christmas Eve, according to a search warrant returned Friday.

Investigators seized a 10-round box and an 18-round box of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun shells from 1123 Ujamaa Drive, where Pharell Hinton got access to a 9 mm handgun that, police believe, belongs to his father, Eric Hinton.

Hinton, 26, was arrested the next day on charges of involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon. He had been on probation since last December for a marijuana conviction and was not allowed to own a weapon.

The wrrant says that investigators also seized from the home, which belongs to Hinton's mother, an "Accurate Ammunition" box containing five 9 mm rounds, a disposable camera, cell phone, a letter addressed to Eric Hinton and a pink copy of a prior warrant for Eric Hinton.

Hinton's uncle, Brian Hinton, said last week that his nephew was trying to get Pharell, as well as two of his other two young sons, to go to bed and was trying to let them run themselves out of energy when the shooting occurred.

In a 911 call released last week, Hinton told the dispatcher he was in the back yard with his other sons playing hide-and-seek when he heard the gunshot.

Brian Hinton said his nephew was trying to change his life and suggested a shooting in October could be why he might have had a gun.

"If he had that gun, he definitely didn't purposefully leave it there," Brian Hinton said.

Hinton, who is being held under a $100,000 bond, has been on suicide watch at the Wake County Jail since his arrest.

Pharell's funeral was Friday at 1 p.m. at Haywood Funeral Home in Raleigh.