No Charges After 3-Year-Old Boy Found Shot Dead At Lancaster Campground: DA

A 3-year-old boy Virginian boy's parents will not be charged after he shot himself dead at Tucquan Family Park Campground in Pennsylvania on Oct. 20, the Lancaster County District Attorney's office announced on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Tucquan Park Campground sign. 

Tucquan Park Campground sign. 

Photo Credit: Facebook/Tucquan Park Campground
Tucquan Park Campground sign. 

Tucquan Park Campground sign. 

Photo Credit: Facebook/Tucquan Park Campground

"This mistake in judgment ultimately led to the child’s death but did not rise to the level of a criminal act based upon the nature and intent of the circumstances,"  DA Heather Adams explained in the release.

The boy was found shortly after a shooting was reported at the camp located at 917 River Road, Holtwood, Martic Township, Lancaster County First Deputy Coroner Casey Buckley detailed in the release on Oct. 23. 

The camp was hosting a Halloween event for families over the weekend, according to its Facebook. 

When the boy's dad was setting up the tow-behind camper, he went inside to grab a phone charge so they could listen to some music outside The boy's mom was cooking dinner inside the camper and was using her cellphone. The boy was running around inside, as detailed in the DA's release. 

While inside the following situation played out:

"The father retrieved his holstered 9mm firearm from his truck to safely store it in the bedroom area of the camper. The father then entered the camper and plugged in the charger and phone [...] The father then realized the outside speakers were not working and placed the holstered firearm on a collapsed dining room table so he could turn on the outside speakers by pushing a button, which was located on the opposing wall only a few steps away. As the father bent down to push the button, he heard a “pop” as soon as he pushed it."

The boy's mom later confirmed to authorities that her husband was only inside the camper for "a brief period."

The boy and his parents have not been identified, but it is known that they were from Lignum, VA .

The boy died from an accidental single gunshot to his left eye at 8:07 p.m., authorities detailed. 

The DA shared the following details in the updated release:

"The gun was found next to the child outside of the holster. The firearm was legally owned and another firearm, a rifle, was located secured in the bedroom area of the camper with the safety on. No evidence of drugs or alcohol was found on scene."

The DA also noted:

"The father failed to perceive the risk present when he briefly placed the holstered firearm down with the intention of immediately returning to secure it in another room while the child was seemingly preoccupied with running around the camper."

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