Thu | Jul 19, 2018

FLA launches probe after toddler's death with security company-issued firearm

Published:Friday | December 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
A relative washes the blood from the room where four-year-old Nathan Newman accidentally shot himself in the head.

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) says that it has identified the security company and the guard at the centre of an investigation now under way into Tuesday's death of four-year-old Nathan Newman, who shot himself with his father's assigned weapon.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, due to the sensitivity of his involvement in the probe, an FLA official told The Gleaner that the fact that the weapon was taken away from the assigned location and to the guard's home constitutes a breach of regulations.

"That the weapon was taken away from the company and away from the location to which the guard was assigned is a serious breach of the terms and conditions under which it was granted in the first place," said the official.

"And for a child to have found and discharged that weapon, resulting in the most unfortunate shooting death, is an even worse tragedy," said the official.

He said that the FLA was made aware of the situation following yesterday's Gleaner headline, 'Double tragedy', which highlighted the unfortunate death of the child, who shot himself in the head with his father's assigned firearm on Boxing Day.

 

BREACH IN PROTOCOL

 

According to the official, any firearm assigned to a guard must remain on the security company's premises or at the location to which he or she is stationed and any attempt to take the weapon home constitutes a breach, for which the company's firearm licence can be revoked.

"Weapons assigned to any security guard are for business purposes only. It is a rather unfortunate situation that in this case, it was taken home and a child got killed," said the official.

"Before a firearm is allowed to be taken home, the FLA would have had to go to the home to certify the premises as secure enough for the safe keeping of a firearm," continued the official.

The police indicated on Wednesday that they were still conducting investigations into the incident and that it remained a possibility that charges could be brought against the father.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com