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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/7/2005 3:40:18 AM EDT
www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/35248

Girl, 5, dies from accidental gunshot

The bullet discharged from a hunting rifle, went through the floor and struck the girl.

Joe Eaton
The Roanoke Times

WILLIS -- Harold Cox was down in his basement Thursday just before noon preparing for hunting season.

He was putting a loaded high-powered hunting rifle in its cloth case when the gun went off, Floyd County Sheri
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ff Shannon Zeman said.

The bullet traveled though the floor above him, ricocheted off the wooden frame of a box spring and fatally struck his daughter, 5-year-old Rachael Cox.

The sheriff's office received a 911 call about noon from a woman who said her daughter was lying on her bed and had been shot.

When rescue workers arrived at the brick ranch in Floyd County near the Carroll County line soon after the call, the girl had already died from the gunshot wound to the head.

The Floyd County Sheriff's Office and coroner made a preliminary determination Thursday that the shooting was accidental.

"After reviewing the facts, there is nothing criminal here," Zeman said.

From 1997 to 2002, there were 27 firearm-related accidental deaths of children up to age 19 in Virginia, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jeff Dalton, an investigator with the Floyd County Sheriff's Office, said that Harold Cox kept his guns in a locked storage cabinet.

Outside the Cox home Thursday afternoon, a tiny red tricycle with streamers dangling from the handlebars sat near the door. Family members gathered inside a section of the home while police officers and at least two ministers waited outside while the body of the girl was loaded into a white hearse.

"She touched a lot of people with her short life," said Gary Marshall, a pastor at Indian Valley Presbyterian Church.

Marshall said that Rachael regularly attended church services with Harold Cox, his wife, Wava Cox, and an older sister. She sang in the youth choir, Marshall said.

"She was a bright and lovely child with big brown eyes. A joy to be around and with," Marshall said.

Richard Telling, a minister at Covenant Church of Willis, said he has known Harold Cox for at least 30 years. The family home schooled Rachel, he said.

"They are good Christian folks," he said. "It is a tragedy."
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 3:41:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 3:51:00 AM EDT
ther WAS something criminal- neglient, dumbass use of a firearm. What goddam idiot puts a loaded gun in its case to go hunting? Also, it just did not "go off'. he pulled the trigger or it caught on something-with the safety off.

lets see how many moref-ups this idiot had.

his daughter paid for them
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:01:34 AM EDT
Yet another idiot wastes the life of his child.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:07:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:23:23 AM EDT
I hate reading about shit like this. The poor child paid for her father's stupidity with her life. Why in the world would you go ahead and load a gun that you intended to hunt with later on? Damn that's depressing.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:37:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SPTiger:
I hate reading about shit like this. The poor child paid for her father's stupidity with her life. Why in the world would you go ahead and load a gun that you intended to hunt with later on? Damn that's depressing.



A-F'IN'MEN!

Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:50:25 AM EDT
Is it just me or is it usually the "once-a-year pull out the rifle to go get drunk and hunt" crowd who always has these accidents (oh yeah, and the thugs too, who "accidentally" shoot their pregrnant wife in the belly).


It can happen to anyone in the blink of an eye, which is why you must be tirelessly obsessive and vigilant about firearms safety.


That being said, WTF is so hard about checking to see if your fucking rifle is loaded before handling it and before putting it in a case!! What a fucking asshole.



Prayers for the little girl, this is so fucking sad...
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:54:55 AM EDT
I think that accidental (read: negligent) discharges that result in someone being killed or injured should be a garauntee of hard-time.


Do they ever prosecute people for manslaughter in these cases? How about "extreme and dangerous stupidity" that presents a danger to everyone around them. I don't know if it should be illegal to be stupid or not, but being a negligent prick definitely should be.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 5:24:36 AM EDT
This is what I just sent to the editor.

My heart goes out to all of those who are affected by the tragic, and quite avoidable loss of young Rachael Cox.


However, contrary to Sheriff Zeman's statement and your articles headline, this tragedy was not an accident. It was a clear cut case of negligence. Someone might want to refer Sheriff Zeman to the following Virginia state law.



22VAC40-110-230. Firearms.

Firearms shall be stored unloaded and apart from ammunition. Firearms and ammunition shall be stored in a locked area with keys out of reach of children.



It is all too clear that Mr. Cox was in clear violation of the first part of the above mentioned law, as well as sensible firearms practices. No responsible firearms owner puts a loaded rifle, with a round chambered, into a case. Was the safety on? Did some part of the cases fabric catch on the trigger? Was his finger on the trigger while he was putting the rifle in its case? Only Mr. Cox knows. Irregardless, Mr. Cox is 100% responsible for the death of his child. And having to live with that knowledge is probably far more punishing than any criminal charges that might be brought against him.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 5:36:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SPTiger:
I hate reading about shit like this. The poor child paid for her father's stupidity with her life. Why in the world would you go ahead and load a gun that you intended to hunt with later on? Damn that's depressing.



Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:02:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SPTiger:
I hate reading about shit like this. The poor child paid for her father's stupidity with her life.






and soon enough we all will pay for it as well, with our freedom. The local libtards will continue to scream about how guns should be banned "for the children"

Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:55:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:

Originally Posted By SPTiger:
I hate reading about shit like this. The poor child paid for her father's stupidity with her life.






and soon enough we all will pay for it as well, with our freedom. The local libtards will continue to scream about how guns should be banned "for the children"


Idiots should be banned.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:59:58 AM EDT
That's just terrible.

God bless little Rachael.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:15:10 AM EDT
I hate hearing stories like this, but they do reinforce my safety habits and make me think. Usually "safe direction" includes "up".
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:22:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By EternalVigilance:


It can happen to anyone in the blink of an eye, which is why you must be tirelessly obsessive and vigilant about firearms safety.






+1,000,000



As a father of a 5yo girl I am shaking right now from the thought of what happened.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 12:59:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 1:00:51 PM EDT
poor girl suffers for her fathers error. that really is the worst nightmare.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 1:02:15 PM EDT
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