A pistol in the hands of a 4-year-old boy went off during a weekend cookout, killing the wife of a Tennessee sheriff's deputy who was showing his guns to a relative, state police said Monday.
No one saw the boy pick up the weapon before the shooting, which occurred Saturday night in Lebanon, east of Nashville, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said. The single shot killed 47-year-old Josephine Fanning, the wife of Wilson County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Fanning.
The couple were hosting family and friends at their house when Daniel Fanning and a relative went into a bedroom to check out some of Fanning's guns, Helm said. Josephine Fanning and the boy walked into the room later, and at some point the boy picked the loaded pistol up off the bed.
Helm said she wasn't sure of the relationship between the boy and the Fannings. The TBI, which investigates incidents involving law enforcement officers, is still conducting its probe, and no charges have been filed.
The gun involved was Fanning's personal weapon, not his service pistol, she said.
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