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Police Suspect Toddler Shot and Killed His Father by Staff /
Fri Aug 21, 2015 02:05
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Divine-chambliss
Police Suspect Toddler Shot and Killed His Father
by Staff / August 20, 2015 Black News, Latest Posts No Comments

By James A. Merritt

Everyday in the news, there is yet another heart wrenching story involving gun violence, and the perpetrators are getting younger and younger. Alabama police report that a two-year-old accidentally shot his father in the head and killed him Tuesday.

According to reports,The boy’s mother left work and returned to the apartment in Hoover, Ala. Tuesday afternoon when she discovered the scene, Hoover Police said in a statement.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday identified the victim as 31-year-old Divine Vaniah Chambliss of Birmingham. A spokesman told The Post an official autopsy report was not yet available.

“‘Horrible tragedy’ is as close as I can come to putting words to it,” Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector told The Post Wednesday. “You think you’ve seen everything in this line of work and then something like this happens.”
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Chambliss and the toddler were the only two people home at the time of the shooting, and the preliminary information they’ve received indicates the toddler “may have accidentally shot his father,” said police. Police added that “there does not appear to be an intruder or any third person involved.”

Rector said police aren’t making an official determination of cause of death yet, “but all indications are that this was an accidental gunshot caused by the two-and-a-half year-old.” Rector added: “We’re certain that this is not a suicide.”

The police found a semiautomatic handgun they believe Chambliss owned in the apartment. “We don’t know where the child found the gun,” Rector said.

The mother and Chambliss also had a young daughter together who was in school at the time of the shooting. Chambliss would often come to the apartment to watch the children while the mother was at work, Rector added.

“People find it hard to believe that a two-and-a-half-year-old is physically capable of firing a handgun,” Rector said. “Sadly, I found numerous examples. It’s not unheard of.”

It’s unclear how many children unintentionally kill people with guns in the United States each year, as The Post has previously reported.

“We know how many times children die each year as a result of gun deaths,” Jon S. Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told The Post last year. “We don’t know how many times children pull the trigger and someone dies.”
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