Gun safety a focus after 3 accidental shootings involving children in the Midlands

Gun safety a focus after 3 accidental shootings involving children in the Midlands
The Richland County Sheriff's Department will give gun owners child locks if they call. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Three accidental shootings involving children have taken place in the Midlands in the last month alone.

“I can’t even fathom how deeply that hurts any family,” Sr. Deputy Joe White, of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, said.

One shooting left a 2-year-old in Aiken County dead. Another child also died in Columbia -- 3-year-old Liam Myers.

“Every time that happens, everyone of us that I know, we cringe and we are like -- that could have been my family, that could have been my child that got a hold of that,” said White.

In the most recent case, a 6-year-old accidentally shot and injured himself in Columbia. Police say the child’s parents were charged because they did not immediately take him for medical care.

“The safety of a gun is a huge responsibility,” Officer David Howe with Colombia Police Department, said. “Most stores, if you buy them from any dealer, (guns) come with a gun lock.”

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department even hosted a drive-thru event in July offering those gun locks for free.

RCSD says if you still need a gun lock or are looking for more information on how to make sure your gun is secure, just give them a call at 803-576-3000.

“Do not become part of that hard lesson,” White said. “You have an opportunity to be proactive instead of reactive.”

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