Connect with us


3-year-old Kayden Swinnely accidentally shot and killed himself at Wildwood Villas in Greenville

Teen unlocked safe, removed gun that toddler used to accidentally kill himself.



Update: Three-year-old Kayden Swinnely died the night of Friday, February 2, 2024 from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

GPD’s initial release of information was intentionally vague given the ongoing investigation and sensitive nature of the case.

The lack of certain details understandably elicited many questions from the public and even some criticism toward Kayden’s family, particularly as it pertained to potential charges. We can now disclose the following:

  • Kayden was at a family member’s house at the time of the incident.
  • A preliminary investigation has revealed a teenager in the home broke into a gun box that was locked and secured in a discreet location.
  • The teenager was playing with the gun in the presence of the toddler, unbeknownst to the adults in the home at the time.
  • Detectives believe the teenager put the gun in an unsecured drawer before leaving the room, at which point the toddler picked up the gun and fired it.

Detectives are continuing to meet with the District Attorney’s Office to discuss the facts of the case; however, it appears to have been a tragic accident.

Kayden’s family has fully cooperated with the investigation.

We ask for patience, grace and empathy for them as this will undoubtedly impact each and every one of them for the rest of their lives.

Please continue to speak to your children, regardless of their age, about gun safety.

Original Report:

On Friday, February 2, at approximately 10 p.m., Greenville Police and Greenville Fire-Rescue were called to the 200 block of Beech Street.

A three-year-old boy had been shot and was rushed to ECU Health Medical Center. Despite emergency responders’ life-saving efforts, the boy was pronounced dead.

An initial investigation suggests the child got a hold of a gun inside a residence and suffered a self-inflicted wound. GPD is withholding the name of the child at this time to allow family to make proper notifications.

After consulting with the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office, the incident has been ruled a tragic accident. No charges are expected to be filed.