An 11-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her stepdad with a gun he had bought only hours earlier.
Bryan Reno – himself only a teenager, aged 19 - allowed the young girl to handle the .380-caliber handgun having taken the precaution of removing the magazine.
But police said he had failed to check the chamber and when the girl pulled the trigger he was shot in the chest.
Police in Cleveland County, North Carolina, ruled the shooting accidental. The incident took place just outside the town of Mooresboro.
The victim's widow Pamela Reno, 35, posted a message on her Facebook page after her husband's death.
She wrote: "To all of my husband's friends, he died last night at home. I'm so sorry but I miss and love my husband so much. May he r.I.p. I love u babydoll til death. Always and forever."
Sheriff Alan Norman said that on Friday evening, while Pamela slept, Bryan showed the gun to his stepdaughter. At one point, he removed the magazine slide from the firearm and handed the gun to her to examine.
"During the course of her looking at the firearm, it's apparent that she pulled the trigger of the firearm and it discharged," said Sheriff Norman.
"It just appears he failed to check the chamber to make sure there was not a bullet in the chamber, and it turned fatal."