PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — Police aren’t expected to seek charges in the death of an Arizona man who was accidentally shot by his 4-year-old son, authorities said.
Justin Stanfield Thomas, 35, was fatally shot Friday after he and his son traveled from Phoenix to a friend’s home 90 miles away in the northern Arizona community of Prescott Valley for a surprise visit.
The boy found the loaded gun in the home within minutes of arrival, asked a question about it and pulled the trigger, Prescott Valley Police spokesman Brandon Bonney said.
Thomas later died at a hospital.
The child has been with his mother since the day the shooting occurred.
Bonney said the gun should have been locked away, but that Thomas’ friend, whose identity hasn’t been released, was caught off guard by the unannounced visit. No children lived in the house.
“They’re processing everything to see where they stand with the interviews and the crime scene investigation and see if everything is matching up,” Bonney told The Prescott Daily Courier.
The paper described Thomas as an Army special forces veteran who served in Iraq.