On the heels of the domestic tragedy in Kansas City that was perpetrated by NFL player Jovan Belcher, which has put gun culture and gun control back in the news, another horrific gun incident has just destroyed more lives, this time in Pittsburgh.
A 7-year-old boy died on Saturday when he was shot by his father in an apparent accident outside a Mercer County gun shop, state police said. Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, was getting into his truck holding a .9mm Taurus handgun when it discharged. The bullet struck his son, Craig Allen Loughrey, 7, in the chest, state police said. The boy died at the scene.
“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.
State police said Loughrey told them he had emptied the magazine of the gun, but had no idea a bullet was still in the chamber.
“This happens all too often where people think the gun was empty,” said state police Lt. Eric Hermick.
[...] Loughrey was trying to sell two guns at Twiggs — one a scope rifle and the other, the handgun, state police said. The shop owner was not interested and Loughrey and his son returned to the truck. Loughrey put the boy in a booster seat on the passenger side, state police said, and he loaded the long rifle into the truck. He was attempting to get inside and reached to put the handgun in the center storage console when it fired, state police said.
Hermick said Loughrey and the child’s mother were divorced, and Loughrey had custody on the weekend. The child’s mother could not be reached for comment.
My heart goes out to Loughrey and his ex-wife, who had primary custody of the boy, but the real tragedy is that America loses another young son because of guns.