The parents of a toddler who shot and killed himself were arrested on Wednesday.
According to the Gainesville Police Department (GPD), detectives interviewed the toddler’s parents – Ledrick Lataurus Ferguson, 48, and Kayla Shelynn Carter, 34 – and discovered Ferguson was a seven-time convicted felon in possession of two firearms that were left unsecured in the center console of a couch.
On Aug. 24, the 3-year-old boy found the unlocked firearm and, according to the initial GPD investigation, was playing with it when the gun went off. Two other children, under the age of 8, were also at the scene when the incident occurred at the Lamplighter Mobile Home Community.
The GPD release said the toddler had known Ferguson left his firearms in the couch console and that the action was witnessed and condoned by Carter. The investigation also revealed that the parents regularly left all three of the children in the care of a person – who was present on the day of the incident – not suited to take care of them. The other two children are currently being cared for by other relatives.
Ferguson and Carter were arrested and charged with manslaughter, neglect and unsafe storage of a firearm. Ferguson was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.