GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — An Elon police officer has pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to properly store a firearm after his 3-year-old-child shot and killed themself more than a year ago.

The incident happened about 7:35 a.m. on June 16, 2021. Guilford County deputies, EMS and fire officials responded to the 700 block of Nellie Gray Place in Whitsett when they were told a child was shot.

The child was taken to a local hospital and later declared dead.

At the time, Orlando Maynard had been on the force for eight months. Before that, he had served in the military. Maynard, who was not home when the shooting happened, was placed on administrative leave following the incident. 

Maynard pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor offense of failing to properly store a firearm to protect a minor and was given a 45-day sentence with an 18-month suspension. He also was required to forfeit the firearm that killed the child and not allowed to own or have a firearm while he is on probation.

The Elon Police Department released this statement at the time of the child’s passing:

While extremely tragic, this incident serves as a harsh reminder to gun owners that weapons should always remain secure. Particularly if minors live in, or have access to, a residence where weapons are stored.