NEAR HARTVILLE, Mo. -- The Wright County Sheriff is investigating the accidental shooting death of a child.
The shooting happened Monday. Timothy Deatherage, died in a camper located on Abrams Road north of Hartville. Sheriff Glenn Adler says Timothy's mom left the home with her boyfriend and asked a neighbor to keep watch on Timothy and his two siblings. It was during that time that Timothy was killed by a shotgun discharge. The sheriff says the three children were the only ones in the home at the time of the shooting.
"The mother and the boyfriend left to go do some business and asked the neighbors to watch them which was in close proximity," said Wright Co. Sheriff Glenn Adler. "They'd been checked on a time-or-two and the children were watching TV to my understanding. They didn't know anything about it until one of the children came running over."
Adler said despite the fact that Timothy's death was accidental, the prosecutor may still end up considering other charges.
"He'll look at it just to see if there was some neglect," Adler said.
"He was shot in the face and now I'll never get to see him and say goodbye."
Those were the words of Timothy's grandmother Jamie Barnhart, who along with Timothy's aunt, Becki Ennis, are understandable inconsolable when they agreed to talk about the tragedy. They say Timothy had a quick smile and wit and loved dinosaurs, dragons, the Hulk, grandma's cellphone, and chap stick.
"He uses it until it's totally gone," Becki said with a smile. "Who does that?"
"That was his first word," Jamie recalled. "The very first word he said you could understand, chapstick."
And they agreed to share their grief with us because they would like to prevent this from happening to someone else.
"I just can't believe this is happening," Jamie said. "We're never promised tomorrow."
"But if we can prevent another child or person from losing their life we want to do that by telling people it is so important to have gun safety," Becki added. "Lock it up."
"It's just not around here we're seeing this all over the country," Adler agreed. "Little kids getting hold of guns. Ya know when we go home at night we're supposed to forget about it but you don't. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this. It's something that gets burned in your mind for a long time."
Sheriff Adler asked the Missouri Highway Patrol for assistance in the case.