Family of accidental shooting victim speaks out as shooting deat - WSMV News 4

Family of accidental shooting victim speaks out as shooting deaths rise

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Hakeem Canty was killed in an accidental shooting. (WSMV) Hakeem Canty was killed in an accidental shooting. (WSMV)

Hakeem Canty had dreams of going to the military like his older brother Troy. Those dreams would be cut short Monday night in an accidental shooting.

His older sister told News 4 she still can't believe it.

"I watch the news. I see people dying," Brittnay Canty said. "I just never would have imagined it would hit this close to home. Something's got to give with these guns. I'm just shocked, to be honest.”

Hakeem Canty had just turned 19 on Saturday. His sister said her brother was full of joy and always had a joke to tell.

Brittnay Canty her brother was playing video games Monday night while his older brother's friend, who is also in the military, was cleaning a Glock handgun. That gun went off and hit Hakeem Canty in the back. She said Troy came running from another room when he heard his younger brother scream.

"Being in the military, the Navy, they train you when you take out guns to look for stuff or make sure stuff like that doesn't happen. What's the odds of it happening?" Brittnay Canty said. "It's too many people dying from accidents. Something's got to give with these guns.”

Hakeem Canty's family is not alone in their pain. He is the third person to die in the last week in Middle Tennessee from an accidental shooting.

Over the weekend, police said 18-year-old Donquarious Barber died after his gun fell from his pocket and shot him while he was eating cereal. Elijah Austin, 14, died in Hopkinsville in another suspected accidental shooting.

"It's really sad, and it's horrific for the family to lose someone like this especially when it's an instance that could have been prevented," said Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville.

Jones has been pushing legislation for years to toughen penalties on parents and adults who leave their guns around and in children's reach. Her bill, called Makayla's Law, has failed twice before. It was filed after 8-year-old Makayla Dyer was shot and killed by an 11-year old boy following a disagreement.

"All it does is say if you are a responsible gun owner you must put your gun away and keep it away from children,” Jones said.

Jones said she plans to file the bill again this legislative session.

"I'm hoping that things will change this year, and if you are a responsible gun owner that you'll put your guns up. That's all you need to do, because in most instances when a child gets hold of a gun, and that includes teenagers, somebody is going to get hurt," Jones added.

The Safe Tennessee Project tracks accidental shootings across the state. This year there have already been 22 deaths from accidental shootings. In 2016, there were 16 deaths.

No one has been charged in Hakeem Canty's death. Clarksville police said their investigation is still open.

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