SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – During a press conference on Tuesday, police said they have no reason to believe that the man who shot and killed his 4-year-old stepson did it intentionally.
Antonio Melton, 38, is facing a second-degree murder charge for the young boy’s death. Melton told police that he was trying to unload the gun he was carrying illegally when it mistakenly went off, went through a wall, and hit the boy who was playing on his bed and eating a snack.
When Melton went to check on the boy and believed him to be dead, he ran away, police said.
“I don’t really want to get into the investigation of the [car] accident, because that’s not material to this specifically,” said Suffolk Police Chief Al Chandler when asked about the details.
After leaving the home on Pine Street, police said Melton was involved in a car crash. That’s when police found him. Meanwhile, the young boy’s mother had been woken up by the gunshot and had no idea what happened.
“Believing the noise came from outside, she checked outside the home and then went back inside to check on her children, where she found her son in bed,” said Chandler.
Police wouldn’t take many questions at the press conference on Tuesday, which lasted less than five minutes.
“This tragedy serves as another sobering reminder of responsible gun ownership and gun safety,” Chandler said.
In addition to the second-degree murder charge, Melton is facing three additional charges: Use of a firearm in commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a violent felon, and the reckless handling of a firearm.
Police tell 10 On Your Side this investigation is ongoing.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.