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Neighbor charged for accidentally shooting toddler

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Posted at 8:50 PM, Jun 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-28 20:50:09-04

Twenty-four-year-old Matthew Bairney has been charged with reckless handling of a firearm.

Police say he’s the neighbor who accidentally shot 3-year-old Kanasia. She lives below him with her family.

Bairney’s wife tells NewsChannel 3 her husband was disarming the gun when it fired.

Kareem Law, the girl's father, says ”I'm glad some kind of justice has been served.”

Law adds, though his daughter is back home, the healing process will take a while because even being in their home is difficult.

Law says, “She came in and started looking up and said 'daddy who did that, daddy who did that?' So she doesn't even remember what happened?”

Though Bairney says it was an accident, prosecutors say under state law, he still committed a crime.

Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant says ”Based on the facts that  were developed, it seemed to me the appropriate charge was the reckless handling of a firearm charge.“

If convicted of this misdemeanor charge, Bairney could face fines and up to a year in jail. 

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