Brian Holbrook, a Michigan father, lost his 3-year-old son, Damon, on Sunday when the boy accidentally shot himself with a loaded gun in their home in Dundee. Despite his grief, the father wrote a statement on Facebook standing up for the Second Amendment right to bear arms only a few hours after the accident.
In a Facebook status that made headlines today, Holbrook wrote:
Yesterday I lost my 3yrd son to a gun accident. We r all hoping to wake up from this nightmare. Though we know that it is now a living nightmare. My baby boy is gone & I will never get to hold him again. I will miss him terribly.
I have nothing wrong with guns it's with this country was built on. I will still support the Second Amendment.
All I ask is that everyone please, please safety first lock it up and put it out of reach of anyone that has no business being around a gun especially kids.
Gun safety people! My boy would still b here if it was put away like it should have been.
Thank you for all the prayers & well wishs.
The post received several hundred "likes" and dozens of comments, mostly of sympathy and support.
"Brian, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I can't imagine what you are going through, but just remember that all of your friends and family are there for support. Don't be afraid to lean on us when you need it," posted Facebook user Matt Werner.
The boy reportedly stumbled upon a loaded gun inside a case on the floor of an unlocked bedroom closet in the family's home.
The gun belonged to family friend Joshua Michael Greenhill who lived at Holbrook’s residence, according to Dundee Police Chief David Uhl, who told Metro that was Greenhill's usual place to keep his guns.
“There were two other guns at the same spot, but they weren’t loaded," Uhl said. "He didn’t really have an explanation [of why he kept them the way he did]. He was just really devastated and could hardly talk."
Uhl stressed that a lack of gun safety was the problem.
"It’s pretty obvious how it could have been prevented," he said. "When you have guns in your house, you need to lock them up and keep them from young children who, we all know, are very inquisitive.”
Greenhill was arrested and charged with careless discharge of a firearm, a crime punishable by up to two years in prison or a $2,000 fine.
”When we complete the investigation, there will be looked-at conditional charges," Uhl said. "They will look at the whole situation and they have 14 days to decide on different charges. It could be involuntary manslaughter, which is 15 years."
The Holbrook family is not facing charges.