that 3-year-old Braydion Scott Matlock was shot and killed late Saturday afternoon at his family home on North 12th Street in Paducah. According to police, Matlock was shot by his mother's boyfriend, 21-year-old Nicholas D. Barbee of Paducah. Barbee, who allegedly confessed to accidentally shooting the boy, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Officers responding to a call about the incident reportedly found Braydion lying on his back with a single gunshot wound. The child was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Kathy-Marie Lopez, the slain toddler's grandmother, told
WPSD that Barbee recently purchased a gun in response to increasing break-ins in his neighborhood.
"The gun was bought to protect those children due to the area deteriorating where they lived," Lopez said. "He (Barbee) stepped up to the plate and took over."
Lopez described Braydion as "always smiling, always happy" and "the best child you would ever want to have and the best grandchild." She also said that Barbee was a great guy who was "hurting" and "sorry" about killing the boy.
Numerous children across the US have died in accidental shootings in recent weeks. Among the latest reported incidents:
On February 2, 13-year-old Paige McGinnis
of Ovid Township, Michigan died after her 14-year-old brother accidentally shot her in the head with a shotgun.
On February 1, Tmorej Smith
, 3, of Greenville, South Carolina killed himself with a pink handgun he found in his family home.
On January 23, 4-year-old Jamarcus Allen
of Akron, Ohio was accidentally shot and killed while riding in a car with his father, who has been charged with manslaughter.