Father charged after 4-year-old found gun, shot himself
UNION, Mo. (AP) — An eastern Missouri man was charged with second-degree murder on Friday, the day after his 4-year-old son found a gun beneath the couch and fatally shot himself.
The Washington Missourian reported that 34-year-old Scott Hilton Jr. of Union also was charged with one count of felony child endangerment and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.
Hilton is jailed on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
The shooting happened just before 6 a.m. Thursday. Authorities say the child's father had placed the gun under a couch in the living room.
The boy awoke to get a drink and his father went to the bathroom. A statement from the sheriff's office said the father heard a gunshot and found the injured child. The boy was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.