A trip to a gun store Saturday morning took a deadly turn when a seven-year-old Pennsylvania boy was shot by his father.
In what appears to have been an accidental discharge, seven-year-old Craig Allen Loughrey was struck by a bullet from his father, Joseph V. Loughrey’s (age 44) .9mm Taurus handgun. The gun apparently discharged when the boy’s father was trying to put it in the car’s console.
Loughrey and his son were visiting Twigs Reloading Den in East Lackawannock, PA to try and sell a scope rifle and the handgun. The shop was not interested so the father and son returned to Loughrey’s truck. Police stated that Loughrey put the boy in his booster seat, loaded the rifle into the truck and then tried to put the handgun in the console. The gun discharged.
Loughrey claims that he had emptied the gun’s magazine, but that there must have still been a bullet in the chamber. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported,
“I know that little kid was everything to him,” said Mark McLaughlin of Fredonia, a friend and co-worker of Loughrey’s at Superior Well Services in Fredonia.
“He was a wonderful little kid. He was special. He was full of life, a lot of fun,” McLaughlin said.
Loughrey and Craig’s mother were divorced. He had custody on the weekends. The mother has not yet commented on the shooting.
According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007, over 3,000 children and teens died from gunfire. Most were teenaged and most were victims of homicide. In that year, the gun deaths of 198 children were deemed accidental or undetermined.
The exact cause of Craig Loughrey’s death is still under investigation. Joseph Loughrey has reportedly been cooperative with the police. It is being investigated as an accident but charges could be filed, including manslaughter and negligence.