Father charged with negligent manslaughter after daughter shoots, kills herself

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A Lake Worth father has been charged after his 3-year-old daughter unintentionally discharged his gun in their home - killing the child. Investigators say this was not the first time that Zuri Chambers handled that same gun.

Thomas Chambers is facing charges of negligent manslaughter. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigators say Chambers' gun was not secured as it sat on a counter near the family's front door on February 13. Chambers told authorities that the gun was in Zuri's reach.

"These are accidents that never needed to happen in the first place," said Joe Rice, manager at Palm Beach Shooting Center in Lake Worth. Every gun his shop sells comes with a lock - a federal requirement.

Rice said when there are children in a house, the locks and vaults are essential for any responsible gun owner. "There are too many options out there to say 'I didn't know what to do'," he said.

Chambers told investigators that he did not think that Zuri would be strong enough to pull the trigger and that she had her hands on his gun before - at least twice. Chambers told PBSO detectives that his daughter grabbed the weapon out of a laundry basket on one occasion and that, on a separate occasion, had pointed the weapon at her sleeping mother.

"When you're told you can't have something, you can't touch it, what's the first thing you do? That's what you gravitate towards," said Rice.

Chambers was charged Saturday and spent the night in jail before being released on Sunday.


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