A seven-year-old has been killed during a gun accident after being shot by his father in front of a Pennsylvania gun shop.
Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, of Sharpsville, was returning to his car on Saturday when the gun went off, shooting his seven-year-old son, who was sitting in the passenger side seat. The 9 mm handgun discharged hitting Craig Allen Loughrey in the chest, according to state police.
The incident drew outrage over the weekend from advocates of more critical guns laws, and those who pointed out that the father had failed to take the proper safety measures when handling the gun around his child. The father claimed he was unaware that a bullet was still in the chamber.
"I have handled and used guns all my life," one user said on a Yahoo blog. "This is the first lesson taught to me to when my father gave me my first rifle at age 9. Never point a gun at another person. And I said but the guns empty. He replied it is the empty gun that kills."
Loughrey was attempting to sell the handgun and rifle at the gun shop. When the gun shop stated that it did not purchase guns, Loughrey returned to the car with his son and put him in the passenger seat, according to AP. The father then loaded the rifle in the back and returned to the driver side to place the gun in the center compartment when it went off.
"I know that little kid was everything to him," Mark McLaughlin of Fredonia, a friend and co-worker of Loughrey's at Superior Well Services in Fredonia, told the Tribune-Review.
Many other users shared their condolences for the family and the father. The incident is being investigated as an accident, according to AP, although Loughrey could still face charges for negligence and manslaughter.