The Dale County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the discharging of a handgun by a 2-year-old at the Ariton Sports Complex.
Chief Dale County Sheriff’s Deputy Mason Bynum said deputies were called to the Ariton Sports Complex on Monday around 5 or 6 p.m. in reference to a firearm being used.
According to a sheriff’s statement and Bynum, deputies discovered a parent of one of the players, who Bynum said is also a coach, was openly carrying a pistol inside the sports complex. Other parents and bystanders pointed out the sign prohibiting firearms in the complex to the parent.
The statement said the parent then removed the weapon from his hip and put it in his wife’s purse. A short time later the man’s 2-year-old child discharged the weapon while playing with the contents of the purse.
The bullet from the gun is believed to have struck the ground a short distance away from where it went off.
“When that gun discharged it’s a blessing that no one was injured,” Bynum said. “If you have a child around you need to make sure that your weapon is secure, and out of reach of the child.”
The sheriff’s statement said deputies seized the weapon, and are consulting the Dale County District Attorney’s Office on whether charges will be filed in connection with the incident. Bynum said the toddler’s parent could face a reckless endangerment charge.
Bynum called it an ongoing investigation, and anyone with additional information about what happened is encouraged to call the Dale County Sheriff’s Office.
“If he could’ve taken it to his car and secured it there…,” Bynum said. “It’s just an unfortunate incident. It truly is a blessing that no one was injured.”
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