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Monday 1 September 2014

Father charged after daughter shoots herself in head with his pistol

Published 10/03/2014 | 11:14

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A Florida man is facing manslaughter charges after his three-year-old daughter accidentally shot herself with his pistol.

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Zuri Chambers died on February 12th following an incident in which the toddler accidentally shot herself in the head with her father's loaded gun which he had 'left lying around'.

Chambers was minding his daughter Zuri while his wife was at work when the incident happened. He "thought it was a car backfiring" when he heard "a loud pop", before finding his daughter by the front door.

Zuri was airlifted to hospital but passed away from her injuries.

Her death was ruled an accident but Thomas Chambers was charged on Saturday with 'aggravated manslaughter of a child' under the provision of 'culpable negligence'.

Chambers had a concealed carry permit for the gun and no prior record. He had received firearms training and 'knew how to keep his weapon safe', the Huffington Post reports. The gun was on a table near the front door so Chambers, who takes the gun to work, "wouldn't forget it." According to Florida law, guns in the home must be secured in a locked box if not kept readily at hand.

The Sun Sentinel reported that it was not the first time the child had placed her hands on the gun.

"Once, according to Chambers' arrest report, Zuri's mother woke up to the child pointing [a gun] at her. Another time, Zuri grabbed a firearm that was sitting in a laundry basket. Chambers told investigators he never imagined the toddler was strong enough to pull the trigger, which requires 10 pounds of pressure."

A search of his home revealed a loaded pistol in Chamber's bedroom and an unloaded shotgun in his wardrobe.

An online condolence book has been set up here.

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