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Jones toddler dies; was wounded in head while he, sibling played with stolen pistol

A grandfather’s plea: Store your guns properly to prevent child shootings

Most accidental child shootings could be prevented if gun owners properly secured their weapons with a gun lock, Louisville gun safety activist Luther Brown says.
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Most accidental child shootings could be prevented if gun owners properly secured their weapons with a gun lock, Louisville gun safety activist Luther Brown says.

A toddler has died after being shot in the head earlier this week while he and a sibling were playing with a stolen pistol at a Jones County home.

Two-year-old Kadir Renfroe was pronounced brain dead by a physician at 12:26 p.m. Friday at the Medical Center, Navicent Health, said Jones County interim Coroner Matt Jarratt.

The boy was born Oct. 6, 2016, according to the medical staff at the hospital, Jarratt said.

An autopsy is expected to be performed Monday by a GBI medical examiner, Jarratt said.

“The weapon discharged while the children were playing with it, striking the 2-year-old in the head,” Sheriff Butch Reece said in a Facebook post Thursday.

On Friday, Reece said by telephone that it was his understanding that the 5-year-old was holding the pistol when it discharged.

The children’s uncle, 18-year-old Darius Johnson, who also lived at the residence where the incident occurred, was charged with reckless conduct Thursday, said Jones County sheriff’s Capt. Jimmy Black.

Johnson was also charged with theft because the pistol was stolen in a burglary about two months ago, Black said.

Johnson had fallen asleep and the pistol may have fallen out of his pocket while he was sleeping, Jarratt said.

It was unclear Friday whether the child’s death may impact the charges against Johnson. “We haven’t concluded that yet. We’re still doing an investigation on it,” said Jones County sheriff’s Maj. Earl Humphries.

Reece urged gun owners to be responsible with weapons in the home.

“My heart aches … This was a tragic accident that should have never happened,” he said in the post.

Jarratt echoed, “It’s just such a tragedy for the community.”

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