A 33-year-old mother died this week after her child came across a firearm left “unsecured” in the family home.
South Carolina police say that all the evidence points to Cora Lyn Bush having been shot by her three-year-old child.
The child’s grandmother, who was also in the home on Pine Street, Spartanburg, confirmed that the toddler had fired the fatal shot.
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"Although our investigation remains active, all indications are this incident was a result of the young child gaining access to an unsecured firearm, which resulted in the mother being accidentally shot and later passing away at the hospital," a sheriff's statement said.
“The grandmother was interviewed, and her account of the incident corroborated with both the evidence at the scene and the injury to the victim," the sheriff continued.
Spartanburg County sheriff's deputies were called to the family home at around 7:45am on Wednesday September 21.
Although Ms Bush was rushed to the nearby Spartanburg Regional Medical Centre, doctors were unable to save her life and she was was pronounced dead at 9:46am.
Woman shot dead 'by mistake' was sister of man killed in chillingly similar way
"Please keep the family of Ms. Bush in your thoughts and prayers during this time of loss and grief," the sheriff said
This year, nearly 200 children in the United States have unintentionally fired a gun they found in their homes, resulting in more than 80 deaths, according to figures from Everytown for Gun Safety, a group working to prevent gun violence.
A statement from the group said: 'Every year, hundreds of children in the U.S. gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else.'
Commenting on the Sherrif’s statement on Facebook, Autum Phalisha wrote: “the worst part is, one day this child will grow up, and be told what they accidentally did as a baby. What a terrible knowledge to have to live with”.
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Monica Androes added that all too often in this situations, sympathy for the victims of these accidents prevents people from asking the hard questions about gun ownership.
“The parents knew [the gun] should have been locked up,” she wrote.
“They also have the responsibility of teaching their kids to respect guns but clearly didn’t.
“A three-year-old could not have pulled the slide back on handgun, so it was either already pulled back or it was an unlocked revolver.
“Either way the gun owner screwed up and should be held responsible for this tragedy- or maybe she already has paid the ultimate price. Too bad that child is going to live with his actions for the rest of his life through no fault of his own”
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