Father Shoots Son Outside Gun Store

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 9 2012 1:16 PM

Father Accidentally Shoots, Kills 7-Year-Old Son Outside Gun Store

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Craig Loughrey was killed when his father's handgun accidentally fired

Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

A seven-year-old boy was shot to death when his father’s handgun went off in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania gun store. The boy, Craig Loughrey, was settling into his safety seat in the back of his father’s car when the gun accidentally went off and pierced his chest, reports the Associated Press. The boy died at the scene. Joseph Loughrey, 44, had gone to the gun store to sell a rifle and his 9mm handgun but the owner wasn’t interested, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Although he had unloaded the gun at home, Loughrey failed to realize there was still a bullet in the chamber.

Police are describing the case as an accident and say it’s unlikely there will be charges, although that’s up to the district attorney. “It’s obviously negligent and reckless to some degree,” a law enforcement official said. “It’s obviously in that gray area, where it’s a true accident. But is there negligence or recklessness with him not clearing the chamber?”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.