Former Papillion resident killed accidentally by 4-year-old son

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Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013 12:00 am

A 1997 Papillion-La Vista High School graduate died after his 4-year-old shot him last week in Prescott, Ariz.

Justin S. Thomas, 35, of Phoenix, traveled to see a friend in Prescott for a surprise visit. Thomas entered a residence June 7 about 12:36 p.m.

Minutes later, Thomas's son picked up a loaded handgun and asked his father about it, said Prescott Valley Police Sgt. Brandon Bonney.

The boy pulled the trigger, striking his father in the chest.

Thomas was treated on the scene and taken to Yavapai Regional Medical Center East, where he was pronounced dead, Bonney said. The Prescott Arizona Fire Department assisted with the scene.

At this point it's not likely charges will be brought against the person Thomas was visiting because the visit was unexpected, Bonney said. The owner of the handgun didn't have time to secure the weapon.

The boy is being cared for by his mother, who lives in Phoenix.

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