Father charged in toddler’s accidental shooting death; CMPD asks parents to secure guns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police have arrested a father in connection to a case involving a 2-year-old boy, shot and killed at a northeast Charlotte motel late Saturday night.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police charged 24-year-old Antonio Cureton for Amor Cureton’s death.

He is facing charges including involuntary manslaughter, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a stolen firearm and failure to secure a firearm to protect a minor.

The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. on Reagan Drive.

Officers said Amor got a hold of Antonio’s gun and shot himself.

When officers and MEDIC got to the Economy Inn, they tried to help and took the child to the hospital, but he did not survive.

In addition to the gun recovered by CMPD’s canine officers, a second gun was found in Antonio Cureton’s possession.

The homicide is the third recent incident involving a child and a gun.

Two 2-year-olds and a 7-year-old have been shot because a gun was left unsecured, according to CMPD.

“This is literally life and death and we have a situation where a two-year-old is able to operate a firearm and a two-year-old is no longer with us,” CMPD Maj. Ryan Butler said.

Firearms instructor and former CMPD officer, Bud Cesena, said state law requires guns to be secured, and away from children.

“These can almost always be avoided. Firearms need to be placed in a situation where children cannot get to them,” Cesena said.

When he was the police chief for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, they did a lot of outreach to help families easily secure their guns.

Cesena said it’s important to know if there are guns in the homes where people’s children play or visit, as well as how the owners secure their guns. He said it’s key for parents to talk to their children about guns from a young age.

“They are not toys. You got to make sure they understand they are not toys. And unlike a video game, you don’t come back,” he said.