For the second time in as many days, a metro Atlanta child has died after a loaded gun was left within reach, according to investigators.
On Monday, a 7-year-old boy died after being shot outside a DeKalb County gas station. On Tuesday, a 1-year-old boy died after shooting himself at a Cobb County home, police said. In both cases, the gun owners were arrested.
A 2022 report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that when children discover a loaded gun and injure themselves or someone else, the charges can vary — if the gun’s owner is charged at all. The two recent unintentional shootings involving children also led to different charges.
Conrad Carrington Clark, 30, was arrested late Tuesday after his son found a loaded gun in the family’s Cobb home and fatally shot himself in the head, according to police. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to his arrest warrant. The child, identified as Royal Clark, was a year old.
The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon at an apartment on White Circle, near Marietta, according to Cobb police. Clark was later booked into the Cobb jail, where he was being held without bond Wednesday, online records show.
“Said accused did recklessly leave a loaded firearm within reach of said victim,” Clark’s arrest warrant states. “Said victim did obtain the firearm and discharge it, striking said victim in the head and causing the victim to lose their life.”
On Monday, DeKalb officers responded to a shooting call at around 6:30 p.m. at a Texaco along Rock Chapel Road, just a few miles north of Lithonia. When they arrived, they found the 7-year-old boy already dead with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. The boy’s 6-year-old brother also was in the car at the time.
The boys’ father, 42-year-old Dante Daugherty, was arrested and taken to the DeKalb jail. He was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree cruelty to children.
Clark served four stints in state prisons between 2013 and 2016 following convictions in DeKalb and Fayette counties, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. He was previously convicted of theft, robbery and obstruction charges, records show.
In an unrelated incident, a 6-year-old was injured in a shooting late Tuesday at a southwest Atlanta apartment, according to police.