Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 13, 2013

Texas child kills self with dad's unlocked gun


CNHI

— CORSICANA, Tex. — Police in this east Texas town reported Thursday a toddler killed himself with a shot to the head from his father's handgun that the dad said had been hidden in a bedroom at the family home. 

Police Chief Randy Bratton said an investigation determined  the death of Kinsler Allen Davis, weeks shy of his third birthday, was accidental. He said details of the inquiry would be sent to the Navarro County District Attorney's office.

Bratton said the father, Chris Davis, was in the bedroom's walk-in closet Wednesday about 8:45 p.m. when he heard the gun go off. Bratton said the father called 911 immediately. 

"All the information indicates this was a tragic accident," said Bratton. "The father said he believed he had the handgun concealed in the bedroom."

The police chief said the gun  did not have a lock on it, a safety precaution law enforcement officers urge every gun owner to obtain and use.

"The message is even if you think you have the firearm hidden, hidden is not good enough," said Bratton.

News of the child's death spread quickly on social media, prompting an outpouring of sympathy for the family. Corsicana is located 40 miles south of Dallas.

"This is an incredibly hard time for us ... but we appreciate all the encouraging words and prayers,"  the child's mother, Selena Barnham, said in a message posted on Facebook. The father added: "Kinsler was our world. Our hearts are gone."

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Details for this story were provided by the Coriscana, Tex., Daily Sun.