Police piece together man's fatal shooting by son - New York News

Police piece together man's fatal shooting by son

Posted: Updated:
  • Gun Control Across AmericaMore>>

  • Study: Murder rate drops as concealed carry rises

    Study: Murder rate drops as concealed carry rises

    A dramatic spike in the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed weapons coincides with an equally stark drop in violent crime, according to a new study, which Second Amendment advocates say makes the case that more guns can mean safer streets.
    A dramatic spike in the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed weapons coincides with an equally stark drop in violent crime, according to a new study, which Second Amendment advocates say makes the case that more guns can mean safer streets.
  • Target asks customers to leave firearms at home

    Target asks customers to leave firearms at home

    Target is "respectfully" asking its customers to not bring firearms into its stores, even where it is allowed by law. In a statement, interim CEO John Mulligan said Target wants a "safe and inviting" atmosphere for its shoppers and employees.
    Target is "respectfully" asking its customers to not bring firearms into its stores, even where it is allowed by law. In a statement, interim CEO John Mulligan said Target wants a "safe and inviting" atmosphere for its shoppers and employees.
  • NRA calls 'open carry' rallies 'downright weird'

    NRA calls 'open carry' rallies 'downright weird'

    Companies, customers and others critical of gun rights advocates who have brought military-style assault rifles into businesses as part of demonstrations supporting "open carry" gun rights now have a surprising ally: the National Rifle Association.
    Companies, customers and others critical of gun rights advocates who have brought military-style assault rifles into businesses as part of demonstrations supporting "open carry" gun rights now have a surprising ally: the National Rifle Association.

By FELICIA FONSECA and BRIAN SKOLOFF

Associated Press

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) -- A 4-year-old boy who was visiting Prescott Valley with his dad grabbed a loaded handgun from a television stand, asked what it was and pulled the trigger, killing the man in what police say was a tragic accident.

Justin Stanfield Thomas, 34, had traveled from Phoenix to a friend's home on Friday to pick up some of his things from a duplex where he lived until earlier this year, police said. The boy quickly found a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, showed it to his dad and fired it, authorities said.

"Daddy got blood on him," the boy later told investigators.

Police Sgt. Brandon Bonney said Monday that it didn't appear that the tenant - James Williams, 26 - knew Thomas and his son would be visiting or had enough time to secure the weapon before they arrived. No children lived in the house.

Bonney said Williams was asleep when Thomas sent him a text message to say he was coming over, but Williams didn't read it until authorities showed up to investigate the shooting.

Williams is heard in a 911 recording released Monday saying that a man in his 30s was shot in the left side of the chest and was bleeding. One of his unidentified male friends was in the living room at the time and told authorities that he heard the boy say "what is this?" before a shot rang out. Thomas grabbed his chest and said to call 911, then collapsed, police said.

With labored breathing, Williams tells a dispatcher that he wasn't sure what happened but that he believed it was an accident involving Thomas' son.

"He's non responsive, he's breathing, there's bubbles coming from his mouth," Williams says. "He looks pretty bad."

Thomas later died at a hospital.

The Prescott Daily Courier reported that Thomas was an Army special forces veteran who served in Iraq. His mother told Phoenix television station KNXV that her grandson did not understand what happened and was waiting to play with his dad. A number listed for her in Tampa, Fla., was disconnected.

Bonney said no charges were expected in the case, and that Williams kept the weapon for self-defense. He said Williams was in a back bedroom when Thomas and his son arrived, and the gun went off within a minute.

"He really wasn't in a position to know they were there or to go and secure his gun," Bonney said. "With this person, living by himself, there wasn't necessarily any legal requirement to keep that weapon locked away."

No one answered the door Monday at the duplex.

The case has raised questions about how weapons should be stored in a home even when children aren't present. Firearms experts say gun owners have a certain responsibility for their weapons but aren't required to lock them up at all times.

Larry Kolontar, owner of Common Sense Firearms Training in Des Moines, Iowa, said the issue isn't about whether children are present inside the home -- it's about control of your weapon at all times.

"If it's not on you or in a secured location, out of reach and hidden, it needs to be locked up," said Kolontar, who teaches firearms safety. "This is a very sad, horrible situation, but it's one of those things that could have been avoided if the owner would have taken a little more responsibility and secured the weapon."

Jon Abel, lead instructor and owner of Phoenix Firearms Training, said children also need to be taught at an early age not to point guns at people or avoid handling them altogether, in the same way they're taught to not play with knives or to avoid a hot stove.

"Talk about it, demystify it," he said.

Related story:

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • LL Cool J stays true to hip hop roots

    LL Cool J stays true to hip hop roots

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:38:22 GMT
    EXCLUSIVE -- LL Cool J grew and evolved from a hip hop artist out of Hollis, Queens, to a Hollywood TV and movie star. But he always stayed true to hip hop culture. We'd see him backstage at concerts just hanging out with us, so when I heard he was back in New York for the summer I had to find out why. I tracked him down to a Midtown Manhattan recording studio for this exclusive interview.
    EXCLUSIVE -- LL Cool J grew and evolved from a hip hop artist out of Hollis, Queens, to a Hollywood TV and movie star. But he always stayed true to hip hop culture. We'd see him backstage at concerts just hanging out with us, so when I heard he was back in New York for the summer I had to find out why. I tracked him down to a Midtown Manhattan recording studio for this exclusive interview.
  • Friday Night Live: August 1, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 1, 2014

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:28:04 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: an exclusive interview with superstar LL Cool J, a helicopter tour over New York City, dishing on celebrity relationships, and sexier breakfast with Chef Mark Bailey.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: an exclusive interview with superstar LL Cool J, a helicopter tour over New York City, dishing on celebrity relationships, and sexier breakfast with Chef Mark Bailey.
  • Central Park underwear run

    Central Park underwear run

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:16:48 GMT
    Raw athleticism streaked through Central Park Friday evening bared for a modest body of spectators. Two-hundred triathletes ran a skimpy 1.7-mile loop in their underwear to flesh out the opening festivities of New York City Triathlon weekend.Midriffs and tan lines rippled in the open air and a not-so-tighty finish saw the first male and the first female finishers undress the course in record time.
    Raw athleticism streaked through Central Park Friday evening bared for a modest body of spectators. Two-hundred triathletes ran a skimpy 1.7-mile loop in their underwear to flesh out the opening festivities of New York City Triathlon weekend.Midriffs and tan lines rippled in the open air and a not-so-tighty finish saw the first male and the first female finishers undress the course in record time.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices