COLUMBIA, S.C. – After a South Carolina toddler accidentally shot himself, the boy’s father committed suicide Wednesday morning, according to Columbia police.
Both died of a single gunshot wound to the head, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.
Investigators said the boy’s mother called police after 2-year-old Kyree Myers found the loaded weapon inside a Columbia home and fired it.
When officers arrived around 11 a.m., the boy’s father, 38-year-old Keon Myers, was holding a gun and threatening to hurt himself, according to Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook. Police tried to get Myers to put the gun down, but he refused. After several commands to drop the weapon, Myers shot himself, police said.
EMS workers took both father and son to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead.
“Our hearts are heavy at the tremendous loss of life,” Chief Holbrook said in a statement. “We have victim advocates assigned to the case to assist the family during this difficult time. This experience has also been emotionally trying for responding officers. They will participate in a debriefing to discuss the incident and receive further support as needed.”
Police are still trying to determine if the father and son fired the same gun. Investigators are also working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to figure out where the weapon came from and how it ended up in the house.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center online for additional resources.