HOUSTON - Heartbreak, agony and disbelief is what family members were feeling all day Sunday after 4-year-old Codrick Mantrell McCall Jr. somehow got hold of a loaded handgun and shot himself.
His father, Codrick McCall Sr., told Channel 2 Investigates on Sunday that his son was not in his care or his mother's care at the time of the accidental shooting.
"My son was being cared for by a temporary guardian," he said. "I had just dropped him off at that woman's house the night before he died."
McCall said his son was being cared for by a temporary guardian in what amounts to a temporary foster home when his son found a gun in the room where he was sleeping and accidentally shot himself.
Channel 2 Investigates has confirmed that before Sunday morning's accidental shooting, Child Protective Services had been investigating the young boy's parents and had put 4-year-old Codrick on what's called a parental child safety plan.
However, CPS officials said it was the parents' decision to put Codrick in that particular home with that caregiver.
It is a crime to leave a loaded, unlocked firearm in an area where a young child can get hold of it.
Several people in the home where the accidental shooting took place are being questioned by the Precinct 4 Constable's Office and the Harris County Sheriff's Department.
"It's a matter of life and death," said gun expert Cameron Liss, a gun sales associate at The Arms Room, a gun store and gun range.
He said you can buy simple gun-locking devices for as little as $10 and up if you don't have a lock for your handgun, many police departments will provide one for free.
Lock boxes are particularly simple to use and can be opened in three seconds with a simple twist of a key.
As for who's to blame for this tragedy and who made that deadly weapon so easily accessible to a young boy, that will be up to a grand jury to decide.
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