PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The man charged with murder in the shooting death of a Portsmouth toddler told responding officers that the shooting was accidental, but gave conflicting stories, court paperwork shows.
The narrative from a document obtained by WAVY in Portsmouth Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court shows officers wrote that Al McNeil told officers “the victim was inside and that he must of bumped the chair where the firearm (pistol) was, making it go off.”
However, police then wrote that McNeil went on to say, “the victim bumped him causing the firearm to go off once it hit the floor.”
The 2-year-old was found inside the home in the 2800 block of Deep Creek Boulevard last Wednesday with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to the hospital, where he died on Saturday.
McNeil, 39, was then charged with second-degree murder, use of a firearm and shooting in the commission of a felony, and later turned himself in on Monday.
Police found the gun, a 9mm Smith & Wesson, on a chair inside the home, and a bullet hole was also found in the front door.
Police said there were also other adults at the home when they arrived, and that no one else in the home at the time was injured. They didn’t specify exactly who those people were, and the relationship between McNeil and the child is still unclear at this time.
Though a search warrant affidavit for McNeil’s cell phone location data shows police believed McNeil would have been “injured or killed by the victim’s family” if he wasn’t apprehended quickly.
Detectives are still working to determine how the gun went off, and they requested a search warrant for evidence collection, the documents show.
McNeil had an arraignment Tuesday in court. He’ll appear via video in court Wednesday for a bond hearing. His preliminary hearing is initially scheduled for October 12.