Deputy charged after 5-year-old son shoots himself with service - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Deputy charged after 5-year-old son shoots himself with service weapon

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An Anson County deputy has been charged after his five-year-old son shot himself with his service weapon.

Deputy Sgt. Josh Beam was charged Friday with failure to store a firearm to prevent access by a minor by the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

The shooting happened Saturday, May 17, in Wadesboro at Beam's home. Beam was in another room at the time.

Sheriff Tommy Allen told WBTV on May 19 that he had spoken with Sgt. Beam several times since the shooting, and that Beam blamed himself and felt very shaken by what happened.

Police said the boy, who was back at school the following Monday, shot himself in the ear with Beam's Glock semi-automatic weapon, which does not have to be cocked before someone pulls the trigger. As a service weapon, where time can be of the essence, it does not have a child safety lock.

"If anything positive comes out of this I hope it is to remind all of us to make sure any guns we have around the house are stored in a secure place and out of reach from children," Sheriff Allen said.

"I'm sure every law enforcement officer who hears this story; the thought will go through their mind: ‘Do I secure my weapon properly?' As we see from this event, it only takes a brief laps and a tragedy can occur."

"We were very fortunate that this was not more tragic," Allen continued. "An angel must have been guiding that bullet."

Beam was served with a Criminal Summons by SBI agent B. D. Blackman at the direction of District Attorney Reece Saunders Friday morning. No bond was required.

Beam will remain on administrative leave until the matter is disposed in court.

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