A Utah man was charged with child abuse homicide Thursday after his 2-year-old son fatally shot himself in the head last month with a fully loaded gun that his father slept with, authorities said.
Tasman William Maile, 27, told police he always slept with his gun “fully loaded and safety off, within arm’s reach” at the West Valley home where he lived with his two sons, FOX 13 Utah reported.
But on May 26, his 2-year-old son seized the gun and accidentally set it off.
“This is a little bit different than somebody who takes their weapon and puts it in a case up in the closet somewhere, hidden behind the clothes, and some child inadvertently finds it and shoots themselves,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Police responded to reports of a loud bang and a man in a bloody shirt throwing a blue bucket into a nearby dumpster, the Tribune reported. Officers found the child unconscious inside the home, lying next to a Walther CCP handgun.
The boy was airlifted to a hospital, where he died three days later.
“This is a little bit different than somebody who takes their weapon and puts it in a case up in the closet somewhere, hidden behind the clothes, and some child inadvertently finds it and shoots themselves."
The room where officers found the boy was disorderly and contained no furniture, police said. Officers surmised the father and his two sons slept on the floor surrounded by loose clothing and bedding. Maile’s wife was not home at the time.
Authorities searched the dumpster and found the blue bucket, which contained a handgun magazine, two glass jars holding more than 10 ounces of marijuana and a digital scale, the paper reported. Two other handguns and an empty gun case for the Walther CPP were also found inside a backpack.
The father later admitted to police that he discarded the two guns in the dumpster after he was awakened by the gunshot blast, FOX 13 reported.
Maile was additionally charged with one count of obstructing justice, three counts of possessing a firearm by a restricted person, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.