published Friday, October 18th, 2013

Man charged after Arkansas toddler fatally shoots self

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A 30-year-old man has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor after a toddler fatally shot himself at the man's residence earlier this year.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Vance Colbert Gatlin was arrested by Lonoke County sheriff's deputies on warrants for the shooting death of 3-year-old Noah Chambers at Gatlin's home on July 21.

Sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Jim Kulesa says Noah followed Gatlin and his wife from the toddler's mobile home to Gatlin's. Authorities say the toddler then picked up a handgun that had been left on a nightstand near a bed and shot himself with it.

The boy's parents, who Kulesa says are close family friends with the Gatlins, were in their home at the time.

Gatlin has a court appearance set Nov. 5.

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