Father charged after 4-year-old accidentally fatally shot himself

Scott E. Hilton, Jr of Union, is facing multiple charges after his 4-year-old son died after he accidentally shot himself on May 13, 2021.

UNION, Missouri (KMOV) — A 4-year-old boy is dead after accidentally shooting himself in Union, Missouri Thursday morning.

According to Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, the child’s father was sleeping in the living room and placed a loaded gun on the floor under the couch. Just before 6 a.m., the child got up and walked into the room to get a drink. The father left the room to use the bathroom and as he was returning to the room, he heard a gunshot. The child had shot himself.

“When we got there the family was administering CPR to the child. The ambulance transported the child to Mercy Hospital where, unfortunately, the child was pronounced deceased,” said Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton.

The accidental shooting happened at the Cedar Vale Mobile Home Park, off Highway 50, west of Union.

“You know it’s really heart wrenching,” said neighbor George Reed. KMOV spoke with several neighbors who were upset about the child’s death. “It’s just so sad,” said Laura Schulz.

According to Sheriff Pelton, the 34-year old father was restricted from having a firearm in the home. “Should never have happened,” he said.

Friday morning, a warrant was issued against Scott E. Hilton, Jr. for murder second degree-during perpetration of a felony a person dies, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of a firearm. Bond was set at $250,000 cash only.

*Editor’s note: Originally, authorities identified the child as 3 years old.


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