Fort Bragg soldier arrested for accidentally shooting 3-year-old child with .45 cal

Specialist Brian Michael Cavalier (Photo credit: Screenshot from WRAL video below (left)/Fayetteville Police Department (right))

A US Army infantryman in North Carolina is paying the price for neglecting to exercise proper firearms safety after a negligent discharge resulted in a wounded toddler.

22-year-old Specialist Brian Michael Cavalier Jr. -a member of the 82nd Airborne Division- was arrested in Fayetteville on Friday, after he negligently discharged a .45 caliber Ruger handgun inside of his apartment, sending a .45 caliber bullet through the wall and into the arm of a three-year-old in the apartment next door.

Cavalier’s attorney says the incident was an accident that occurred while he was dismantling his personal handgun.

“Basically, as he was breaking the weapon down, he had failed to clear it, and the bullet came out of the chamber – totally accidental,” said Allen Rogers.

Charged over the weekend with discharging a weapon into occupied property and causing serious bodily injury, local news station ABC 11 reports that he was released on bond and was in court on Monday. During the session, the judge ordered that Cavalier surrender his firearms and live on post with supervised permission.

Cavalier, who had recently returned home from Afghanistan with 1st Brigade last week, had failed to remember the first rule of gun safety: “treat all firearms as if they are loaded.”

The child was rushed to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

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