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Child Shoots, Kills Tenn. Deputy's Wife At Weekend Cookout

By: CBS/AP
By: CBS/AP
Deputy Daniel Fanning of Wilson County, Tenn., was showing a house guest his guns when a four-year-old accidentally shot and killed his wife, authorities said. (Credit: WTVF/CBS)

Deputy Daniel Fanning of Wilson County, Tenn., was showing a house guest his guns when a four-year-old accidentally shot and killed his wife, authorities said. (Credit: WTVF/CBS)

Authorities say a 4-year-old who gained access to a loaded gun during a family cookout has shot and killed the wife of a Wilson County sheriff's deputy.

The shooting took place Saturday evening inside the Lebanon home of Deputy Daniel Fanning. Authorities say the deputy and a male relative had been looking at firearms in a bedroom when the 4-year-old picked up a loaded gun on a bed and fired it once, hitting Josephine Fanning.

The 48-year-old wife -- the two had just married last year -- was pronounced dead on the scene. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate.

"He was actually showing another person that was there at the house some of his weapons he had locked in a secure gun safe," Sheriff Robert Bryan told CBS Nashville affiliate WTVF-TV.

The sheriff said no one saw Deputy Fanning's 4-year-old nephew walk into the room.

"Split second, we're talking about seconds for that kid to walk in that room unbeknownst to them, grab that gun and it goes off." Sheriff Bryan told the station.

The 4-year-old picked up the loaded gun and fired it once, hitting Josephine Fanning. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

Sheriff Bryan said this was all just a horrible accident, "He took all the precautions, he's a trained law enforcement officer, trains with weapons all the time."

TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the 4-year-old is not related to the Fannings and the gun used was not Daniel Fanning's service weapon. Helm said Daniel Fanning works as a school resource officer.


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