Southeastern PA

Man charged in connection with son's accidental shooting death

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - The father of a 2-year-old Bucks County boy who accidentally shot himself to death at his grandparent's home has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and related offenses.

Nicholas Wyllie, 26, of Quakertown was also arraigned Wednesday in Bucks County on child endangerment and reckless endangering charges.

Authorities said Benjamin Smith died September 12 at a hospital shortly after being injured by a gunshot wound to the chest at a home in Milford Township.

District Attorney Matthew Weintraub called it a "terribly tragic death" that "was 100 percent avoidable."

"There's the saying guns don't kill people, people kill people. Well, in this case, that is false," Weintraub said.

The DA alleged that Wyllie had left one of the handguns he owned unsecured, although the child was accustomed to playing with toy handguns.

"Unfortunately, that presents incredibly attractive danger for any 2-year-old. Little Benjamin was attracted to it and it caused him to kill himself," Weintraub said.

Defense attorney John Fioravanti Jr. declined immediate comment Wednesday but said "I certainly will later."

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