Sheriff: Father charged after son playing with gun kills 1-year-old

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 1:38 AM MST
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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA/Gray News) - A father and convicted felon is facing charges after authorities say his 8-year-old son shot two young children, one fatally, while playing with his gun.

Roderick Randall, 45, is facing charges after a shooting Saturday at the Lion’s Motel in Pensacola, Florida. They are the most severe charges the previously convicted felon has faced, WALA reports.

“What we have here is a 14-time felony convict,” said Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons.

Roderick Randall, 45, is facing several charges after authorities say his 8-year-old son found...
Roderick Randall, 45, is facing several charges after authorities say his 8-year-old son found a gun in the closet and started playing with it when he fired a shot, killing a 1-year-old and injuring a 2-year-old.(Escambia County Jail View)

Simmons said Randall and his 8-year old son were at the motel with his girlfriend. Her twin 2-year-olds and her 1-year-old were there, too. Randall left the room while his girlfriend was sleeping. Authorities said he also left his gun in the closet.

“His 8-year-old son finds the gun because he knows where it’s hidden,” Simmons said. “He pulls the gun from the holster and starts playing with it and fires a round into the 1-year-old toddler, ultimately killing the 1-year-old.”

Simmons says the bullet also hit one of the 2-year-old girls but she is expected to be alright. Randall came back to the room shortly after the shooting.

“Roderick decides to come back, grabs the weapon and grabs what we believe is drugs, and he leaves the scene before returning back to the scene,” Simmons said.

Jail records show Randall has been in and out of jail over the past 10 years. His new charges include possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, tampering with evidence, failure to store a firearm and culpable negligence - all for a crime that Simmons says could have been prevented.

“We need these parents to step up and do a better job because the decisions that they make can cost, in this case, they can cost the lives of our most precious resource: That’s our children,” Simmons said.

Randall’s bond was set at $41,000. He made bond and was released Sunday from the Escambia County Jail. He is scheduled to be in court on July 15.

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