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Cleveland County girl accidentally fatally shoots stepdad

By Elisabeth Arriero
earriero@charlotteobserver.com
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- Photo courtesy of Facebook
Bryan and Pamela Reno

An 11-year-old Cleveland County girl accidentally shot her 19-year-old stepfather to death Friday with a handgun he had just acquired, county Sheriff Alan Norman said Saturday.

At about 10:45 p.m., authorities received a 911 call about a person being shot in the 400 block of Lemmons Road, just outside of Mooresboro.

When they arrived, they found Bryan Scott Reno dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest, Norman said.

Authorities determined that Reno had purchased the gun either through a trade or purchase within 24 hours of the incident, Norman said.

He said that on Friday evening, while his 35-year-old wife Pamela Reno slept, Bryan Reno showed the gun to his stepdaughter. At one point, Reno removed the magazine slide from the firearm and handed the .380-caliber gun to her to examine, Norman said.

“During the course of her looking at the firearm, it’s apparent that she pulled the trigger of the firearm and it discharged,” Norman said. “It just appears he failed to check the chamber to make sure there was not a bullet in the chamber, and it turned fatal.”

On Saturday morning, Pamela Reno posted on her Facebook page: “To all of my husband’s friends, he died last night at home. I’m so sorry but I miss and love my husband so much. May he r.I.p. I love u babydoll til death. Always and forever.”

Pamela Reno could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Neighbor Patty Saltares said the Renos had moved into their single-wide mobile home on Lemmons Road within the last couple of weeks.

Saltares said she knew little about the family except that, “They were quiet. I never knew they were up there.”

Norman said he doesn’t expect anyone to be charged in the shooting. The investigation is continuing.

The sheriff said he cannot remember the last time there was a fatal accidental shooting in Cleveland County, although he noted that the number of such shootings is “very low.”

“It goes back to an untrained child given a firearm and the end result is a fatality,” said Norman. “You’ve got this child that’s going to be affected the rest of her life and carry this with her.”

Arriero: 704-358-5945; Twitter: @earriero
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