A 2-year-old girl fatally shot herself over the weekend, and the Fayetteville, N.C., toddler's father faces involuntary manslaughter charges as a result.
Melvin Andre Clark Jr., 19, who was arrested Sunday, also was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to Lt. Todd Joyce.
Samarri Tyana Beauford was playing in the living room of the home where she lived with her aunt and grandmother Saturday when she killed herself.
The little girl found a loaded .22-caliber pistol that Clark had left under the couch, Joyce said. He would not elaborate beyond that, but said the following:
"A child that small, they don't have the strength to pull a trigger with their index finger, but they are strong enough to use pressure from their two thumbs."
"Typically, they'll be looking at the weapon when these things happen."
The toddler was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center about 12:30 p.m., where she died, CNN affiliate WRAL reported. No one else was injured.
Clark was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center on a $50,000 secured bond and was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.
Police pursued the manslaughter charge because Samarri was killed in a "reckless or careless manner" or via a "heedless indifference" to others' safety.
Several warrants were found when police ran Clark's name, including misdemeanor cruelty to animals, larceny and marijuana possession charges.
In the past few years, Clark had previously been sentenced on breaking and entering, larceny and possession of a firearm by a minor convictions.
According to the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 703 children under 15 died in accidental firearms deaths between 2001-10.
During the same period, 7,766 additional children under the age of 14 suffered accidental firearm injuries, about one injury for every million children.