Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Police officer faces misdemeanor in accidental gun death of his son

Elon’s police chief has confirmed that Guilford County’s D.A. recently filed a criminal charge against a member of the town’s police force whose 3-year-old son was fatally shot last month when he apparently got a hold of his father’s service weapon.

Kelly Blackwelder, Elon’s chief of police, issued a statement on Tuesday to acknowledge that, on June 25, the office of Guilford County’s D.A. formally charged police officer Orlando Maynard with the misdemeanor offense of failing to store a firearm to protect a minor.

Maynard’s alleged offense stems from the death of his three-year-old son, who perished in the family home outside of Whitsett on June 16 in a tragic accident that apparently involved his father’s police-issued sidearm.

Maynard, an Army veteran who joined Elon’s municipal police force in December, was apparently not home at the time of this accident. Even so, neighbors recalled hearing the child’s mother lament that the weapon’s safety was off after the shooting occurred.

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According to Blackwelder, Maynard will remain on paid administrative leave while Elon’s police department conducts its own internal investigation of the shooting.

“Upon completion of the internal investigation,” Blackwelder added in Tuesday’s statement, “if any violations of departmental policy are found, then the appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken.

“Orlando is still our officer,” the town’s police chief continued, “and we continue to support him and his family as they grieve the loss of their son.”

See previous coverage: https://alamancenews.com/child-of-elon-police-officer-dies-in-accidental-shooting/

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