4-Year-Old Shoots, Kills Dad
Visit to friend's home takes tragic turn for military veteran
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2013 10:51 AM CDT
Authorities in northern Arizona say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father at a Prescott Valley home.   (VideoNewsPortal)

(Newser) – A surprise visit to a friend's home with his young son on Friday ended up being a deadly decision for Justin Stanfield Thomas. The 35-year-old Army Special Forces veteran and former Green Beret was shot dead by his 4-year-old, who police say found an unsecured gun in the living room of the home in Prescott Valley, Ariz. A neighbor tells ABC15 that the homeowner was also a vet and that Thomas had formerly lived in the home, but moved out in the fall after learning his girlfriend was pregnant; that child is now 2 months old. Police believe the homeowner wasn't expecting the visit, which may explain why the gun was present.

A police department rep says the investigation into the accident will continue this week, with police looking to determine how much time passed between their arrival and the shooting. Once they establish how long the homeowner may have had to deal with the gun, prosecutors will decide whether to charge him with criminal negligence, reports the Arizona Republic. According to the neighbor, it wasn't very long: "Apparently when Justin and his little boy showed up, within minutes, the little boy found the gun and said, 'hey, daddy, what's this?' and it went off," he tells AZFamily.com.

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Showing 3 of 260 comments
Oct 27, 2013 2:49 PM CDT
its not the child's fault even though guns don't kill people people do some one has to pull the trigger for the gun to kill someone
McLaughlin Mary
Oct 18, 2013 8:06 PM CDT
Is this even possible, How does a four year old pull the trigger ?
Jun 10, 2013 11:59 PM CDT
People who can't supervise a 4 year old well enough to keep a loaded gun out of his hands get what they bloody well deserve. Pity for the child, zero pity for the adults. Idiots do not deserve the privilege of procreating, I don't give a damn what fascist uniform they're wearing. Green Beret? Can't help but wonder how many little muslim kids' deaths daddy might've been responsible. Poetic justice.