Warren Tyler Oser, Benson, North Carolina father to be charged over the shooting death of 2 year old son after toddler found loaded gun in dad’s pick up truck.
A North Carolina father will face charges related to the October shooting death of his 2-year-old son, after the boy found a loaded handgun in the front seat of his father’s truck and shot himself in the head with it, ‘while playing with it’.
Warren Bennett Oser died on October 15 from a single gunshot to the head, according to the Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle’s office. At the time, investigators said the toddler ‘climbed into his dad’s pickup truck through an open door, and was playing with a loaded handgun inside the vehicle.’
‘The child was able to discharge the weapon, which resulted in injuries to himself,’ police said according to the News and Observer.
According to the sheriff’s office, the 2-year-old died from a single gunshot wound and was discovered near a vehicle in the back of the property.
The weapon was identified as a Smith & Wesson 40 caliber handgun.
Doyle said that Warren Tyler Oser, the boy’s father, of Benson, would be charged with failure to properly and safely store firearms WRAL reported.
‘This is not about the rightful ownership of guns,’ the district attorney said. ‘This is about the responsibility of gun owners to protect minors by ensuring all weapons are kept safely away from children.’
Doyle stated that while she has sympathy for the parents grieving a horrendous loss, ‘these tragedies are 100 percent preventable by safely storing all weapons away from minor children as require by statute.’
Oser has yet to be taken into custody.
The firearm death rate for children in North Carolina doubled between 2019 and 2020, according to the N.C. Child Safety Task Force. It reported 105 children died from firearms in 2020 and hundreds more were injured. In a May 2022 report, the task force reported 21 unintentional firearm deaths among children up to 17 years old between 2016 and 2020. It recommended funding a $155,000 two-year statewide firearm safe storage awareness initiative.