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Deputy's son, 4, accidentally shoots himself

Sheriff Leon Lott states that each deputy at Richland County Sheriff's Department is issued a gun safety lock box to store their service duty weapon.

RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH) -- A Richland County deputy's son accidentally shot himself while the father was getting ready for work Wednesday morning.

The sheriff's department says Deputy Kelvin Griffin was getting ready for work in the bathroom when he heard a gunshot around 9:30 a.m. Griffin went to the bedroom to find his four-year-old son lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the upper body.

"He turned his back for a split-second which is how quickly it can happen," according to Maj. Stan Smith.

Smith adds the son was transported to the hospital. At last check, he was in critical, but stable condition.

Officials say the gun involved was a department issued secondary weapon. Sheriff Leon Lott adds that all deputies are issued a gun safety lock box when hired.

No charges have been filed at this point. The department is investigating the incident, and have requested assistance from SLED.

Griffin is a veteran with the department working as an investigator.

"A lot of in the department have children and this will be on every one of our minds as we go home and place our weapons in a secure location. It is just the worse thing that can happen," Smith states.

Lott also takes the time to remind gun owners of the safety precautions that can be taken. They include:

- Taking the ammunition out of the gun- Locking the gun and keeping it out of reach of kids- Locking the ammunition and storing it apart from the gun- Storing the keys for the gun and the ammunition in a different area from where you store household keys.- Keeping the keys out of reach of children- Locking up gun-cleaning supplies, which are often poisonous- Talking to your family members about gun safety

Officials also offer advice to give children when they do encounter a gun within reach. Lott says the best thing they can do is to stop, leave the gun alone and leave the area to tell an adult.

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