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Moorhead man pleads guilty in connection with 6-year-old's accidental shooting death

A child found the man's gun and it went off, striking and killing the boy.

The owner of a gun used in the accidental shooting of a 6-year-old boy pleaded guilty this week.

Phillip Neal Jones, 34, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm in his residence, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday. 

The shooting incident happened the evening of March 21, at Jones' Moorhead home. There were "several" unsupervised kids there, Moorhead police had said, with Jones away from the home at the time.

A child visiting the residence found Jones' loaded gun, a Walther .40 caliber pistol, underneath a snack chip box in the kitchen, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. The gun went off and a 6-year-old boy was hit. 

Officers arrived and determined the boy had died. 

Family identified the boy as Marcellus, with his mom describing him as "so loving. He had a little attitude sometimes and could be a little cocky sometimes, but his love overpowered that. ... He was an all around good kid."

A Go Fund Me to help pay for Marcellus' funeral raised just over $7,000.

"Marcellus was a great kid who was destined for great things but that came to an end on Sunday, March 21st," the fundraiser reads.

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