MERCER, Pa. (AP) - A man's handgun went off while he was holding it as he got into his truck in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania gun store Saturday, and the shot killed his 7-year-old son, authorities said.
Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, of Sharpsville, was getting into the truck when the 9 mm handgun discharged, wounding Craig Allen Loughrey in the chest, according to state police. The boy died at the scene at Twigs Reloading Den in East Lackawannock Township, 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.
Investigators said Loughrey told them he didn't realize there was a bullet still in the chamber. "This happens all too often where people think the gun was empty," Lt. Eric Hermick told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Loughrey was trying to sell two guns at the store - one a scope rifle and the other, the handgun, state police said. The owners told Loughrey the store doesn't buy guns so Loughrey and his son returned to the truck with them. Loughrey put the boy in the passenger seat and loaded the rifle into the truck, state police said. He was attempting to get inside and reached to put the handgun in the center storage console when it fired, they said.