Father faces no charges for accidently killing his son

By:  Kenya Williams

Jesse Simpson of Indian Trail, North Carolina was accidently shot and killed by Derek Simpson, his father.  Jesse Simpson was only 3 years old when his life was unexpectedly put to an end on Sunday, November 21, 2010.  The toddler was shot with an antique, .50 caliber black powder rifle.  Father, Derek Simpson, was unaware of the bullets in the gun.  Larry Hyatt, a gun dealer explained to WBTV that it’s often hard to determine if the gun is loaded or not, unlike modern guns manufactured today. 

            According to police, Derek Simpson was showing his four year old son how to properly shoot a gun, without warning, his other son, Jesse, walked into the line of fire.  The toddler was then killed on the porch of his grandparent’s home around the time of 2:30 P.M.  His grandparent’s home was located in Hemby Bridge on Faith Church Road.

Derek Simpson told police that the rifle was given to him from his father and that he did not know it was loaded.

            The gun dealer who had previously spoken with WBTV, indicated to another North Carolina case in which a man did not know that a similar gun was loaded and ended up killing an Appalachian State student.  Police say that the victim’s best friend, Galen Ruble, accidently shot and killed the student. Ruble was intoxicated when the rifle went off and was charged with manslaughter, unlike the father of infant, Jesse Simpson, who did not get charged at all. 

Hyatt stated that the firearm is often used for hunting and is sometimes a collectible’s item.  Hyatt also mentions that the gun is a little complicated to unload, but the cap can be removed to prevent fire being shot.

            The gun dealer says that the number one rule in gun safety is to treat the gun like it’s loaded.   Neither of the murderers mentioned above seemed to have taken Hyatt’s rule in consideration. 

A .50 caliber black powder rifle, the gun that killed Jesse Simpson. Photo courtesy of



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