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3 Year Old Accidentally Shoots, Kills Father

Last updated on Monday, July 16, 2012

(SALEM) - Indiana State police say a 3-year-old boy fatally shot his father, 33-year-old Michael Bayless, after the child found his father’s loaded handgun.

Sgt. Jerry Goodin says the Martinsville man shot Friday night had brought his gun with him to a home he was remodeling in the 3600 block of West Vincennes Trail in Salem.

Bayless, his wife, their three children and a juvenile relative were at the home when the 3-year-old boy apparently found the loaded gun and it accidentally discharged, killing his father. No one else was injured.

Crime scene investigators believe Bayless was watching television with two of his children when his other child, the 3-year-old, located a loaded handgun in the area where the family was watching TV. Police report the child accidentally discharged the handgun, striking Bayless. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Goodin says the case remains under investigation but Washington County's prosecutors will determine if charges are called for. He calls the case a "tragic accident and a tragic mistake" of leaving a gun within a child's reach.

The investigation continues.

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