Toddler's Mother Searches For Answers About Son's Shooting Death

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

Police say a Rocky Mount toddler accidentally shot and killed himself with an off-duty Wilson County Sheriff's deputy's gun last month, and now the child's mother is looking for answers.

Katrina Terry says Wilson County sheriff's deputy Marcus Ruffin wasn't working April 16th, and picked up her son to take him for a haircut in Wilson. She says Ruffin isn't her son's biological father, but was his dad in every other way. Terry says the two stopped off at a friends house, and says her son got into Ruffin's car, found his loaded gun, and then shot and killed himself. She says she wants to know why the gun wasn't locked up and why charges haven't been filed yet.

"The gun was positioned like "hey, look at me, play with me. Like I said, my son wanted to be a cop like his daddy. Cops have guns. He was going to touch it." said Terry.

The Wilson Police Department says it finished its investigation into the shooting last Thursday, and handed its findings to the District Attorney's office, which is still investigating. Neither agency wanted to comment, but Wilson police Sergeant John Slaughter says there is a state law that makes it a misdemeanor crime to store a firearm in a manner accessible to a minor.

Terry says when her son was just 6 weeks old, Deputy Ruffin, who is currently on paid leave, took out a life insurance policy on him. She spoke with an insurance agent this morning, who said Deputy Ruffin filed a claim Tuesday. Attorney's we spoke with say such a policy isn't unusual.

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