NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – It’s happened again.

For the second time in less than a week, a 3-year-old is dead after a shooting.

The first happened when a child picked up a gun and fired in Portsmouth on Monday, April 3rd. Now, 10 On Your Side has learned of a second incident in Newport News Thursday, April 6th.

A 3-year-old boy has died after being found with a gunshot wound in the 1200 block of 26th Street in Newport News, and police say the shooting appears to be accidental in nature.

Newport News Police responded to a report of a shooting at about 9:08 a.m., and when officers arrived, they found the boy suffering from the gunshot wound to the head. Paramedics pronounced the child dead at the scene.

During the investigation, police initially charged the boy’s father, Nathan Copeland Jr., with an unrelated charge, distribution/possession with intent: marijuana.

10 On Your Side spoke with the grandmother of the boy who died in Newport News. She told us she was surprised the story wasn’t in the news sooner since the shooting happened Thursday, yet information was not released to the public by police until the following day.

In an update from police Monday morning, Copeland is now facing additional charges, including child abuse neglect: reckless disregard of life, possession of a firearm by a violent convicted felon, and firearm: leave loaded, endangering child.

According to a criminal complaint in Newport News courts, Copeland claims his uncle brought the gun to the home the night prior to the incident.

He told police that he was getting his wallet from his car on April 5 when he found his uncle’s gun on the passenger side of his car. He said he grabbed both the wallet and the gun for safekeeping and brought them in the house.

The complaint stated Copeland then put the gun into a cardboard box and placed it on top of a marijuana growing tent. The gun was not secured and Copeland said there was a magazine inside the firearm.

Nathan Copeland (Photo – Newport News Police)

Copeland told police that he let his son sleep with him that night. The complaint then stated that the next morning, he heard a loud bang and ran upstairs to find the 3-year-old with a gunshot wound. Police say a 9mm gun was near the child’s foot.

Court documents state Copeland admitted to being a convicted felon in Florida and growing marijuana.

Inside the house, detectives seized 48 marijuana plants, scales, packing materials, plastic bags and money. Police report several plants were inside closets and boxes with fans and lights. 

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Ruth Winters with Peninsula Area Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

After two young lives lost in a matter of days, Winters said she’s feeling extreme sadness and frustration.

“I don’t think this is a political issue,” Winters said. “We need to do something to educate gun owners. We have a program that’s called ‘Be Smart for Kids.’ It’s a program for adults to teach them how to store guns safely. If we could just get that message out, we could save some of these children’s lives.”

Check with for updates.