A North Carolina toddler found a gun in his dad’s truck and shot himself, and now the father faces criminal charges.
Investigators say they arrived at the scene in rural Johnston County to find the boy with a gunshot wound. Warren Bennett Oser, 2, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Detectives believe the 2-year-old climbed into his dad’s pickup truck through an open door and found a loaded handgun in the cab. He began to play with the gun and accidentally shot himself, authorities say.
According to ABC 11, the boy’s father, Warren Tyler Oser, is charged with failure to properly and safely store his firearms to protect minors.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office tells the station that the boy’s death was considered an “unfortunate accident.”
The boy’s sudden death has left his family in shock.
“We’re having to raise money for a funeral we never expected, for a 2-year-old,” a family member told WRAL News. Community members have raised more than $20,000 on a GoFundMe page to cover the boy’s funeral expenses.
In an online obituary, family members remembered the sunny toddler.
“Bennett was a free spirit with a wild soul who always kept us on our toes,” his parents wrote. “He loved to run naked, play with dinosaurs, work with Daddy, snuggle with Mama and play outside.
“Bennett was a happy child who loved everyone in his life deeply,” the obituary continued. “Every single day, he would go down his list of favorite people to try and visit. Though his life was brief, his spirit and memory lives on in his family and friends. We are grateful and blessed that God chose us to be his parents and let us watch over him for even the short amount of time that he had on earth.”