Gastonia family in shock after 2-year-old accidentally shoots and kills father

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GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A 2-year-old boy is going to grow up without his father after family says the child accidentally shot and killed him.

“The daddy was sitting on the couch,” said the victim’s great-grandmother, Phyllis Holland, “And the baby got up on the couch and picked the gun up from behind the daddy,” she continued. “Picked the gun up not knowing it was a real gun, and put it to the daddy’s back and pulled the trigger thinking the gun was a toy.”

Family is in shock over what happened inside an apartment on West Fifth Avenue in Gastonia on Sunday.

Phyllis Holland said her 2-year-old great-grandson shot and killed his dad, 29-year-old Markovia Durham.

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She said Durham just purchased the gun.

“He keeps the gun away,” Holland explained. “He kept the gun away from him. At that moment, he just wasn’t thinking.”

The noise was so frightening, the toddler ran out the door. Neighbors said police officers swarmed the apartment complex around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

“I just hate it for that child because his life is messed up because, you know, it was his daddy,” said neighbor Tasha Phillips. “And if he did that, that little boy is going to go through something for the rest of his life and it just hurts me because I have grandkids of my own.”

On Monday there were still pieces of crime scene tape on the ground outside the door.


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Holland said the family isn’t placing blame on anyone. Right now, they’re trying to explain to the 2-year-old who keeps asking for his dad why he isn’t around.

“He want his dada,” Holland said. “He’s only a 2-year-old. He don’t understand.”

The Gastonia Police Department hasn’t said if anyone will face charges in the fatal shooting. Department of Social Services employees were at the scene on Monday asking family members questions.

Meanwhile, those who live around the area are repeating the same message Monday night: Keep your kids away from loaded guns.

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