MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Prichard police believe 4-year-old Roderick Paige shot himself with a gun he found at his aunt's home and, so far, no charges have been filed in connection with his death.
However, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich is investigating the shooting. She said Tuesday criminal charges could still be brought against the aunt's boyfriend, who owned the weapon and who is a convicted felon.
"The focus is making sure that this truly was a horrible accident that happened as a result of someone leaving a gun in plain view loaded. We want to make sure that there is no criminal activity involved in regard to the child getting shot," Rich said.
The child was visiting his aunt's home in Prichard with other family members Easter Sunday when he got the gun and shot himself, police said.
Even though the shooting was apparently accidental, Rich revealed the case could lead to criminal charges.
FOX10 News asked the DA, "Is anybody in that house a convicted felon?"
"Yes, and we are working on that angle right now, because that is a potential federal offense," Rich said.
According to Rich, the gun belonged to the aunt's boyfriend who has a non-violent felony conviction.
"You're no longer allowed to possess a pistol if you've been convicted of a crime of violence. In the federal court, they have a lot more less stringent rules so, it may not fit a state court violation, but it would absolutely fit a federal court violation. So, we're looking into that right now," she said.
The district attorney also confirmed there was one other child in the room with Roderick when the shooting happened.
Rich expects the investigation to move quickly. She said she should know by the end of the week whether or not federal charges will be filed in the case.
Trent Campbell is Roderick's uncle, but wasn't at the home when the shooting happened. He said the other child was Roderick's 7-year-old brother.
"He was in the room, and he came to me in the kitchen and said, ‘My brother just shot himself in front of me. I didn't know why he did it,'" Campbell said.
He described the pistol as a .22 caliber handgun, and said he doesn't know why it was left where his nephew could get it. The DA seeks to answer that question.
"I can't tell you much about this particular weapon, but I can tell you it was in plain view, and it was left loaded," Rich said.
Mobile Police are investigating an apparent shooting that left two people dead and one person injured. Witnesses said it happened around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Campus Quarters Apartments on University Boulevard.
New historical markers are going up in Montgomery to document the city's leading role in the slave trade before the Civil War.
More than a dozen people were in line when the doors opened at the Creola Senior Center Tuesday morning. Voters will decide today if they want to annex into the city of Saraland.
Temps Falling but the Sky will be Clearing as Well throughout the Day....
World leaders and joyous, singing South Africans honored Nelson Mandela on Tuesday at a rainy Soweto soccer stadium where U.S. President Barack Obama praised him as a "giant of history" and the last great liberator of the 20th century.
Alabama State Troopers have shut down part of eastbound Interstate-10 due to a wreck.