Case of four-year-old child killing relative is under investigation

Posted at 11:35 AM, Jan 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-15 19:58:24-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The Richmond man shot by a four-year-old child has died, according to Richmond Police. Police identified the man as 58-year-old Casper R. Jones.

Police found Jones Sunday morning after they responded to his home in the 2300 hundred block o Whitcomb Street home for a shooting call.

Police said a child, a relative who was in the home, shot Jones on accident.

Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring says the child found the gun on a table inside the home.  Herring says investigators are looking into evidence of child neglect but has declined to say if any charges will be filed in the case. 

The accidental shooting comes on the heels of a recent report by the Children’s Defense Fund that shows an alarming number of children across the country have easy access to guns.

According the report, released January 11:

  •  1/3 of all households with children younger than 18 have a gun
  •  40% of gun-owning households with children store guns unlocked
  •  22% of children with gun-owning parents admit to handling guns in home without parents’ permission

Gun-control advocate Andrew Goddard says Sunday’s tragedy is proof that gun organizations and groups need to be more proactive in pushing safety education.

“The NRA started out, years ago, extremely safety cautious,” Goddard says.  “Even today their website has all kinds of things on it about safety but they’re not pushing that side, they’re pushing their rights.”

Several gun-rights groups argue just the opposite.

Philip Van Cleave, with the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, says gun deaths involving children have decreased significantly over the past century because of continued education and safety technology.

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers anonymously by texting 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip.