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Officer Derek Carlile is a member of the IGOTD Hall Of Eternal Infamy, after leaving his .38 revolver in a car cup-holder with his unsupervised children. His three-year-old son promptly grabbed the gun and fatally shot Carlile’s seven-year-old daughter. TTAG has followed this sickening story from the very beginning. Carlile beat the rap for manslaughter in a criminal trial last year and the DA decided not to re-try the case. But now, some justice has finally been done to the perpetrator of this utterly avoidable tragedy . . .

After a year of paid vacation administrative leave, Carlile has been fired by the Marysville Police Department. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The Marysville Police Department has fired Officer Derek Carlile whose gun was used by his 3-year-old son to fatally shoot his 7-year-old sister.

A spokesman for the city said Monday Carlile was fired as a result of an internal investigation, but it would say nothing else about the personnel matter.

The Daily Herald ( ) reports Snohomish County prosecutors dropped a manslaughter charge against the officer last year after a jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Carlile left a .38-caliber revolver in the family van with his four children in March of 2012 while it was briefly parked in Stanwood. His 3-year-old son grabbed the gun and fired a shot that killed 7-year-old Jenna.

His lawyer called it a tragic mistake.

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  1. “A tragic mistake.” Leaving a loaded revolver in a cup holder in a van full of kids is a smidge past a tragic mistake. That is epic stupid.

  2. Remember, folks: Guns are only safe in the hands of trained law-enforcement officers.

    • A fair point. I really should be glad that this situation has been resolved with some measure of justice, but my heart is just not in it when there’s a dead kid in the mix. I just hope people take this as a lesson about the responsibility attached to owning a firearm, and that a badge on your shirt does not exempt you from not being imprudent with the tools of your trade.

      • You really call getting fired from his job “some measure of justice” for getting his child killed? Sorry, any average citizen would spend time in prison.

        • Parents who drive negligently get their kids killed sometimes. Should they get jail time, too?

          Parents sometimes forget to close a door or fasten a gate and a kid will fall down the stairs. Should they get jail time?

          Parents sometimes are negligent in the kitchen to the great harm of their children. Again, jail time?

          Then why jail time for a firearms-related death?

        • Speeding and texting on a winding road, yes.

          Depends – usually not. However, leaving the patio door open regularly for he one-year-old and they’ve an uncovered pool…? Yes.

          Leaving oil boiling for deep frying with the hande overhanging, stepping outside for a smoke and the worst happend. Yes.

          Something like this? HELL yes.

  3. He should be spending his time entertaining other fellow inmates for causing the death of a child.

    • It was an accident. True, it was avoidable, but most accidents are. All sorts of other accidents can kill children, too. It’s not the business of the government to put parents in jail – thereby weakening the family further and harming the remaining children more – because of accidents. If a parent knowingly or intentionally kills a child, that’s a different matter.

      • It was willful, bullheaded negligence.

        Yes, it was an “accident,” but so’s a truck hitting a kid. If the father left a toddler in the street, who’s at fault? If the driver’s watching YouTube (or reading TTAG) while driving, who’s at fault?

        What happened was likely enough to happen that he was criminally negligent.

        That’s why we have laws. Yes, we have too many and a lot of ’em are stupid, but cases such as this are why Hamurabi took up writing laws in the first place.

        I wish him ill.

      • Again, we have to think of the harm you’ll cause to the rest of the family by throwing a father in jail. While the father’s in jail, the children will be without one of their two parents. Income will diminish greatly. And it will be much harder for that father to get a job later, whenever he gets out. The marriage, which will already be severely stressed because of the loss of a child, will be even more likely to end because of the enforced separation.

        • Y’know, methinks that any family I’ll be better off and safer without that particular paternal gene donor.

          At best he can make some money; it’s not as though he’s a great role model.

          And we’d all be better off were he a convicted felon and denied legal access to firearms.

          This isn’t the 1870s, in which women were barely permitted to work.

          She’ll be alright – especially away fom him.

          • It’s very harmful to kids to remove the father to prison and force the mother to leave the house, too, in order to make an income while he’s in prison. Very, very harmful. Telling a mother some feminist myth about how it’s oppressive for a woman to take care of her children instead of abandoning them for an office job, is not going to help anything. The welfare of kids should come first. The father in this case will never repeat his mistake. There’s no evidence of other negligence or abuse. He should stay with his family. The alternative is to break up the family, forcing both parents out of the house, and hurting the kids more than they’ve already been hurt.

  4. It is even worse than it sounds in the above recap. His wife told him many times not to leave the gun unattended around the children yet he continued to ignore her. The child was fascinated with guns too.

    It took them forever to bring charges against this guy while at the same time in a county south of there they brought charges against civilians immediately in a near identical case. A lot of people were upset, me among them. I called the prosecutor’s office and was assured that they were looking into the case and that I would be happy with the results. Well they did try. Juries are strange creatures and impossible to predict.

    Washington has history of accidental shootings of children by police, three in the last few years and none of the police have been convicted of anything. In fact this was the first one to be prosecuted and I suspect that only happened because of the public outcry.

    In Clark County Detective Ed Owens not only left a loaded gun in an open safe where his 3 year old found it and killed himself, he lied to the investigators and even tried to put the blame on his step-daughter. No charges filed.

    In Spokane police officer Barry O’Connell left his loaded service pistol where his daughter could get and she shot herself. No charges filed.

    Are there two systems of justice in the Evergreen State? You decide.

    • … Are there two systems of justice in the Evergreen State United States? You decide. …

      Edit. Hope you don’t mind.

  5. I will brief the information to others when I get back to my regular work detail Monday. It is not possible to undo what has been done, but we can advise others of the consequences of negligence. I only have one assembled gun that is unlocked, and it is on my hip. Carrying is a good thing, as long as it is done responsibly.

  6. I’ve seen this case used by the gun-grabbers; never once did any of them mention he was a cop.

        • I think you are taking as a slight what is in fact an implied compliment.

          Boys are much more interested in firearms than girls, in general, and they are also much more likely to pick up a gun, point it, and pull the trigger. Thus, they need more training than girls when it comes to firearms safety.

  7. Yeah, I’m down a kid myself – through no fault of mine or the mother.

    That fool has none of my sympathy.

    The mother, yes; she tried to get the moron to behave and he wouldn’t. No, leaving him probably didn’t quite seem justified – except in retrospect. I hope she does/has.

    The other kids, Hell yes. That three year old – jeez.

    But him? He’s irreparably broken as built. I’m sure that the remaining Tsarnaev brother has regrets as well. Too fu<king bad. Weep weep.

    May the best job ever available to him be siphoning outhouses.

  8. We all think in terms of “thank God that was not me.” But we need to take emotion out of our decision making. Too many people will have sympathy for him.

    He was a cop who beligerantly careless. Time for jail, oh I know, it was the guns fault.

    The problem is without sending him to jail or punishing the wife for letting him slide on safety, the boy who fired the shot will have guilt forever.

    I love all these “accidental shootings”. They are not, they are negligent, especially when someone is “cleaning” their gun.

    • If we want to put parents in jail for mere negligence, we are going to allow the government to intrude a great deal more into our homes and family lives.

      And while the negligence is obvious here, it is often highly subjective. For instance, some people – especially government “experts” – think that it’s negligent for parents to sleep in the same beds as their infants. Many informed parents, however, know that it’s actually less dangerous for an infant to sleep next to his mother. It regulates his breathing (crib death occurs in cribs, not when the infant is next to the mother), and offers both nourishment and love throughout the night.

      Now, let’s say an infant dies while sleeping next to his mother. The government “experts” will prosecute the mother, even though, in general, it’s better for mothers to sleep with their infants.

      Do we really want the government to make these decisions about what we do in our families and homes?

      • That’s why we have laws. Hopefully we get good laws, and avoid stupid laws.

        What he did was as stupid as leaving an infant carrier perched on a high railing. What happened was all but guaranteed.

      • We’ve been looking at some of the same studies. That’s why Emerson sleeps between my wife and I in his own little padded mattress. That little snore is a wonderful thing.

        • Good for you. In general, most of the accidents that occur when mothers sleep with infants are the result of mothers who have been drinking or taking drugs.

  9. Regardless of how you feel about cops, and I generally support them, this illustrates a fact of life in America. It’s hard to get a jury to convict a cop, even if he’s deserving of it.

    • In part, that’s because the people who gather the evidence are cops, too. And prosecutors don’t push very hard, either, since they need to work with the boys in blue. All things considered, it’s amazing that any cops ever get convicted of anything.

  10. And dont let the children borrow the k9 to take care of the local school bully either!

  11. I dont know if its criminal, but it is jaw droppingly stupid. Still, Im glad hes not a police officer anymore. His bad judgement should be enough to keep him out of law enforcement forever.

  12. If it would have been one of us mere “peons”, we’d be sent up the river for many years. It is well past time that these criminally negligent “Only Ones” pay the true price. Book ’em, Danno.

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