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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A father is facing manslaughter charges after his child was fatally shot with a gun he owns.
The 2-year-old, who would have turned three in March, was shot on Daisy Lane around 6 p.m. Christmas Day.
Horry Coroner Robert Edge tells WMBF News that the child, identified as Sincere Smith, died from a gunshot wound to the chest while en route to the Medical University of South Carolina.
Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesman for the Horry County Police Dept., says the child shot himself with a handgun. The gun, which was sitting on a table when the child grabbed it, belongs to 30-year-old Rondell Javon Smith of Conway.
Family of the 2-year-old say Rondell Smith is his father.
The family said Smith is a good father, and only had the gun after he had concerns about his neighborhood.
Neighbors who live near Daisy Lane said the accidental shooting could have been prevented.
"I'm shocked that a baby got killed on Christmas.We just had people do a shootout in school in Newark, [Newton] Connecticut and kill a bunch of people and that's crazy. I mean people shouldn't have guns if they're not gonna have them locked up," Steve Nelson said.
"People should have a right to have guns. It's up to the people in making sure they're safe. I'm a firm believer on this. There's no reason why somebody can't go out and hunt and then lock their gun up. It's people who are being stupid and leaving things like that laying around. A child should've never gotten it. And that's the bottom line," Luci Robbins said.
Smith has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was released from J. Reuben Long Detention Center Wednesday afternoon with a $500 personal recognizance bond.