Sheriff: Boy, 6, accidentally shot himself
ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Police have confirmed a six-year-old boy who was shot to death in Hardin County accidentally killed himself while playing with a gun in his room.
The child found the gun, which belonged to a friend of his mother, unattended on a table in his home on West Airview Drive in Elizabethtown on Tuesday morning, according to police.
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Jacory Williams, 30, was arrested and charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
Williams went to the boy's home around 4 a.m. Tuesday to play video games, according to the Hardin County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff John Ward said he brought more than a gaming system with him that morning. A handgun was left unattended in the home.
"The child came out and saw the gun on a table and took it back into his room where he accidentally shot himself," Ward said.
After the single shot rang out, Ward said the child's mother and Williams called 911. When deputies arrived, they found the six-year-old shot.
The boy was dead by the time EMS arrived at the home.
He's been identified as Malachi Fryer. The Hardin County School District confirmed he had just completed first grade at New Highland Elementary.
"You don't expect to see this happening to a child," Ward said. "It's a very sad event, so it's tough on all emergency workers involved."
Hardin County Schools issued the following statements:
"The students and staff of Hardin County Schools and New Highland Elementary School have endured tragic loss. We have learned that New Highland first grader Malachi Fryer tragically passed away early Tuesday morning.
There are certainly lots of broken hearts at New Highland and across the district. A student's death always brings sadness. However, the loss of such a young child in this horrific manner ripples through our district family.
We have survived tragedy before and we will this time. While spirits are burdened with unspeakable pain, our students and staff will persevere. We ask the members of our community and members of our district family to keep Malachi's family in your thoughts." - HCS Superintendent Teresa Morgan
"Malachi was special in many ways. He had a smile that warmed your heart, a contagious laugh and a positive attitude. He was a little comedian and the classroom was his stage. He loved people and he didn't meet a stranger. Basketball was his pleasure and joy. Our hearts are heavy because a piece of our New Highland family is gone. We will always carry him with us." - New Highland Elementary School Principal Chalis Packer
Williams was arraigned Wednesday morning, when the judge had strong words for him.
"I'm confident that you understand there was a loss of life because of that weapon that was left unattended," the judge said.
Just days earlier, on Friday, June 1, Williams pleaded guilty to drug charges in Hardin County court. This new charge is a violation of his probation for that conviction.
Williams is being held in the Hardin County Detention Center on a $25,000 cash bond. The judge ordered him to have no access to weapons if and when he bonds out of jail.
He's due back in court on June 15 for a preliminary hearing.
The case is still under investigation. Sheriff Ward said there could be more charges and more arrests made in the case.
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