SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A four-year-old boy was killed in a shooting on Pine Street in Suffolk on Sunday night. Police have arrested the boy’s stepdad and charged him with murder.
According to police, the shooting happened in a home in the 200 block of Pine Street, near Market Street, around 9 p.m.
Suffolk Fire and EMS treated the boy at the scene, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police arrested Antonio Lonnell Melton and charged him with second-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a violent felon and reckless handling of a firearm.
Police have not shared additional information, including what led up to the shooting and Melton’s relationship to the victim.
However a criminal complaint obtained by WAVY shows Melton is the boy’s stepdad, and told detectives he was removing the magazine from a handgun when it fired a single round. The round traveled through the wall and hit the child, the complaint says.
Melton is being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
The shooting is still under investigation.
WAVY has confirmed Antonio Melton has been in and out of prison for the past 20 years. He was first arrested for malicious wounding in 2002 when he was 17, for shooting a man in Suffolk. The man survived. Melton served six years in prison. He then was on probation.
In 2009 he violated his probation and was charged with statutory burglary at the age of 25. He was indicted by a grand jury in 2010 for that charge. Court documents also show he stole money from a Suffolk man. He served five years for that and also got probation.
Court documents show he was finally released from probation just last month, for good behavior, and told detectives after the shooting that he shouldn’t have had the gun.