A New Jersey man whose son allegedly shot a neighborhood friend in Toms River is facing charges for felonies in connection with the incident. The shooting occurred in early April, when the 4-year-old child and the 6-year-old victim were playing at the man's home. The 33-year-old father of the child is now facing child endangerment charges for his role in the boy's death. Official charges in the case include second- and third-degree child endangerment charges, along with a violation of disorderly persons statutes.
Official reports show that the two boys were playing at pretend-shooting each other during a game. The man's child ran into his family's home, returning to the other boy while toting a .22-caliber rifle. The rifle discharged, striking the victim in the head. He died a day later after receiving care at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, according to news articles.
In addition to the man's alleged fault for the fatal gun crime, prosecutors argue that he left two loaded 12-gauge shotguns within reach of three children, ages 4, 8 and 12. The disorderly persons charge results from the fact that the man is accused of failing to properly secure his guns around his children. In the state of New Jersey, gun owners must take precautions such as installing a trigger lock on firearms that could be accessed by children younger than 16.
Attorneys for the alleged victim's family members say they are pleased that the case is progressing, but they are still mourning the death of the child.
In this case, the defendant is still facing charges because of his apparent role in a firearms accident. Even though the incident resulted in death, however, the man is not facing manslaughter charges. Prosecutors determined that the endangerment charges were more appropriate for this situation. Regardless of the charges the man faces, he deserves a fair trial in the unbiased criminal justice system in New Jersey.
Source: www.nj.com, "Father of boy, 4, accused of shooting and killing Toms River neighbor is indicted" Dan Goldberg, Sep. 25, 2013