Police: Child accidentally shoots, kills father

James E. Lonaker, 62, of Hartsville died Sunday

HARTSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A 62-year-old Hartsville man died Sunday night after police say his 6-year-old son accidentally shot him.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 200 block of Clinton Street around 9:15 p.m. When they arrived, deputies found James E. Lonaker with a gunshot wound to his upper body.

Police say it appears Lonaker’s 6-year-old son accidentally shot him when he picked up an unsecured 38-caliber revolver and fired a shot. According to police, Lonaker was apparently sitting at his desk and didn’t see the child pick up the gun, which belonged to Lonaker.

Police say Lonaker was being flown to IU Health Methodist Hospital when he died. His wife and 1-year-old child were also in the house but were not hurt.

Sheriff Matt Myers said this was a tragic accident and wants all residents to make certain that firearms in their homes are not accessible to anyone – especially children.

The incident remains under investigation.

Hartsville is about 150 miles south of Fort Wayne.

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