Stratford Cop Charged with Child Endangerment After Daughter Dies in Shooting
A Stratford police officer faces criminal charges after his young daughter accessed his personal firearm and later died due to a shooting. The tragic incident unfolded on New Year’s Eve at the suspect’s Stratford NJ residence. According to law enforcement, the suspect’s eight-year-old daughter managed to get hold of a loaded .357-caliber revolver. She then […]
A Stratford police officer faces criminal charges after his young daughter accessed his personal firearm and later died due to a shooting.
The tragic incident unfolded on New Year’s Eve at the suspect’s Stratford NJ residence. According to law enforcement, the suspect’s eight-year-old daughter managed to get hold of a loaded .357-caliber revolver. She then allegedly fired the weapon and shot herself. (It is unclear at this time if the victim’s death was accidental or intentional, but the young girl’s mother reportedly said that it was a suicide.)
The Camden County Police Department received a call about a child who had sustained a gunshot wound and was unresponsive. Police officers and emergency medical crews were sent to the residence, but the victim’s mother didn’t wait for them to arrive. The mother drove the injured child to nearby Kennedy University Hospital so that she could receive urgent medical care. Tragically, there was little that doctors could do to save the victim; she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the Stratford NJ medical facility. Her death was attributed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Stratford detectives investigated the shooting incident and eventually determined that the suspect was criminally responsible for his daughter’s death because he left his handgun unsecured and in a spot that was easily accessible by his kids. As a result, he was placed under arrest and charged with three counts of child endangerment. The three counts stem from the fact that the suspect has three minor children, all of whom reportedly had access to the deadly weapon. Additionally, the suspect was charged with illegal storage of firearms.
Severe Penalties for Child Endangerment in Camden County
Illegal storage of firearms is a disorderly persons offense and carries minimal penalties. However, a conviction on the child endangerment charges in this case could result in severe penalties. That’s because endangering the welfare of a child is classified as a second degree felony in New Jersey. Second degree crimes are punishable by a sentence of up to 10 years in NJ State Prison.
In addition to facing the loss of his daughter and the loss of his freedom, the suspect may also lose his job over the tragic incident. The suspect is a 46-year-old man who serves as a police patrolman with the Stratford Police Department. While the criminal charges against the suspect remain pending, he has been suspended without pay from his position with the police force.
If you have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child or any other crime in Camden County, NJ, you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer handling your case. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Davis & Mendelson can help you fight your charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation.