Police warn about pellet guns after child's death

The pellet gun that fatally wounded the child has its safety mechanism in front of the trigger. (Shae Crisson)

February 24, 2011 4:07:20 PM PST
Police held a news conference Thursday to warn the public about the design of the safety latch on some pellet guns after the death of an 8-year-old.

TJ Henry - a student at Lynn Road Elementary - died after he was accidentally shot in the head with his grandfather's pellet gun at his Raleigh home on Monday.

The boy died a day later at WakeMed.

In an interview Wednesday, the boy's grandfather explained he used the gun for squirrel hunting.

"I saw him coming down the steps, and I had the gun propped and I know that he likes guns," Daniel said.

The grandfather then reached for the gun to put the safety on. That's when it went off, hitting TJ in the head.

Raleigh police showed a picture of the trigger mechanism of the gun at their news conference Thursday. Officers showed how the safety latch is in front of the trigger.

"You have to be careful if you want to put the safety on or to move the safety. The trigger is in such close proximity, we wanted to make the public aware of that," said Lt. Andy Murr with Raleigh Police Department Detectives Division.

They said they hoped public awareness of the design might prevent more accidents, and they said several manufacturers have similar designs.

Get more information about gun safety from the National Rifle Association Education website and from kidshealth.org

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