Boy, 3, Accidentally Shoots Himself Dead After Finding Gun in Father's Store: Police
A three-year-old boy died after he accidentally shot himself at a North Carolina store, police said.
The child, identified as Manal Abdelziz, shot himself with a handgun that was kept behind the counter of a convenience store in Lumberton that his father owns around 11 a.m. Sunday, cops said.
When the child’s 56-year-old father, also named Manal Abdelziz, saw that his son had been shot, he immediately called police to the Brother's Minit Shop on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, according to officials.
Emergency responders rushed little Manal to a nearby hospital, but he could not be saved.
Police declined to comment on where he fatally wounded himself.
"I'd rather not say, because it is pretty graphic, so I'd rather leave that out," LPD Capt. Terry Parker told WTVD.
A neighbor who declined to give her name said the normally quiet road was filled with emergency responders after the shooting.
"I knew something was up when I saw the police and the ambulance yesterday," the woman told INSIDE EDITION.
"I saw two ambulances and about three police cars. I'm just surprised and I don't know what to make of it," she said.
Mourners decorated the store with yellow ribbon in memory of the child, she said, noting that the current business has only been at the store for about a year.
"It's sad. It really is. It's sad for anybody to die, but a child that young, I just don't know," the woman said.
A makeshift memorial sprang up at the store, as people left flowers, balloons and stuffed animals at the shop's door for Manal, who was known as "Cash," WNCN reported.
"R.I.P. Cash Money," one sign left at the store read.
The Robeson County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the incident to determine if charges will be filed. It is illegal to have an unsecured firearm in the presence of a child.
Parker told WTVD that his department is securing the 911 call and is running the handgun and prints through the ATF database.
From December 2012 to December 2013, at least 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings, according to the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an independent, non-partisan organization that describes itself as being "dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence in America."
About two-thirds of those unintended deaths, or 65 percent, took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim's family, the Fund reported.
Most often, the incidents involved guns that were legally owned but not secured.