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Two-year-old "shot and killed his father"

Divine Vaniah Chambliss
Divine Vaniah Chambliss

A man was apparently shot dead by his two-year-old son in what US police are calling a horrible accident.

Hoover, Alabama, police Captain Gregg Rector said investigators have ruled out suicide and other scenarios in the death of 31-year-old Divine Vaniah Chambliss.

Chambliss was found shot once in the head in the apartment in Hoover on Tuesday after the mother of his two-year-old son and young daughter returned home from work

He said Mr Chambliss was found shot once in the head in a flat on Tuesday afternoon, and no-one else was inside other than the toddler.

There was no sign of an intruder or a self-inflicted wound, and there was a semi-automatic pistol in the flat.

Police say the Jefferson County Medical Examiner's office has completed a post-mortem and the results are pending.

Captain Rector said it is not difficult for a child to pull a trigger on that kind of weapon, and investigators believe that is what happened.

"It wouldn't be a physical obstacle for a 2 1/2-year-old boy to pull a trigger on a semiautomatic handgun," he told AP, describing how the deadly shooting appeared to be a 'horrible accident'. 

"Everyone knows it's a good idea not to have guns around kids, but we don't always practice it."