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Sunday, November 28, 2010

[PA] Little Gavin reportedly killed self with dad's service weapon

Gavin Thompson

...Liberty police were called to the home just before noon after 911 received a hang-up call from the address. Police called county homicide detectives when they realized the boy's father was a fellow officer...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sunday, November 28, 2010
A fund has been established for the family of a Port Vue police officer whose 4-year-old son died from a gunshot Friday after he got a hold of his father's service weapon. Donations to the family of Officer John Thompson can be mailed or dropped off at the Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union, 531 Monongahela Ave., Glassport, PA 15045... [Full article here]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Sadie Gurman
November 27, 2010
[Excerpts] Detectives on Friday were trying to learn how the 4-year-old son of a Port Vue police officer got a hold of his father's service weapon and why it fired, killing the boy. Gavin Thompson, the son of Officer John Thompson, apparently got the .45-caliber handgun from the top shelf of a bedroom closet in their home... "John definitely had his weapon secured," Port Vue police Lieutenant Bryan Myers said. "How the child got the weapon, we don't know yet." He said the boy's death appears to be an "unfortunate accident"... Mr. Thompson, a five-year veteran of the Port Vue force, also has worked intermittently as a Liberty officer for more than 10 years, Liberty police Chief Luke Riley said. "He is a fine officer," said Mr. Myers, who described himself as a personal friend... Liberty police were called to the home just before noon after 911 received a hang-up call from the address. Police called county homicide detectives when they realized the boy's father was a fellow officer, Mr. Riley said. Gavin was one of five young siblings... The boy's sister ran outside and sought help from a man who was visiting his own young grandchildren who live across the street. "She said, 'Something happened, and Dad said to get some help,'" said the man, a former Port Authority police officer who asked not to be identified. He rushed into the house and found the boy lying on the floor in his father's arms. The man performed CPR on Gavin before paramedics arrived... "The other police officers were consoling him," said Amy Lockhart, who lives next door... "How could it be so accessible to him?" she said. "He's 4"... [Full article here]

Daily News
By Michael DiVittorio
November 27, 2010
[Excerpts] ...Liberty police Chief Luke Riley said Gavin Thompson, 5, son of officer John Thompson who is on the police force in Liberty and Port Vue, was transported to UPMC McKeesport Friday afternoon with a bullet wound to his upper body after the boy apparently shot himself with his father’s service pistol. Gavin was pronounced dead at the hospital later that day. Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office declined to release information about the boy by presstime. “Distraught does not begin to cover it,” Riley said after responding to the call for the shooting incident shortly after noon at Thompson’s home along F Street in Liberty. Allegheny County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt also went to the scene... Riley said Thompson has been put on administrative leave. It was not immediately clear how the boy found his father’s weapon, or whether it was secured at the time... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities lethal negligence child abuse endangerment protection children toddler baby boy son homicide accident accidental gun lock toddler preschooler gun culture, pennsylvania state]


  1. September 15, 2010 at 10:47 a.m.

    The 3-year-old son of a Clark County Sheriff’s detective died early today after he accidentally shot himself in the head a few hours earlier, according to a news bulletin issued by the Battle Ground Police Department.

    Ryan Owens, son of Eddie and Kristie Owens, died at 2 a.m.

    His father was off-duty and home at the time. It is unclear how the child obtained the gun.

  2. November 29, 2011
    Clark County sheriff’s Detective Ed Owens was fired after he was found to have violated a number of policies in connection with the 2010 shooting death of his 3-year-old son, Ryan.

    (Ed is planning a lawsuit because the safe's were found to be unsafe and the sheriff's department is aware of this.)

  3. January 29, 2012
    Clark County sheriff’s Detective Ed Owens, whose 3 year old son Ryan died after shooting himself, is suing and says he was fired for speaking out against the department’s practice of passing out cheap and faulty gun safes and refusing to replace them. Owens is demanding his job back and seeking $1 million in damages.


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