LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Little Rock man accused of fatally shooting a toddler in what police say was a case of road rage alleges that his gun went off by accident.

A transcribed police interview obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette showed Gary Eugene Holmes recalling what happened leading up to the December 2016 shooting death of 3-year-old Acen King.

Holmes, 34, is accused of shooting into the back of a car and fatally hitting Acen. He faces charges of first-degree murder, terroristic act and possession of a firearm by certain persons.

Holmes alleged in the interview that the gun in his hand accidentally went off after he stepped out of his vehicle.

Holmes told investigators he had the gun in his lap while driving “when two cars came up behind him quickly,” according to the interview. He said he wasn’t angry at the time, but a woman riding with Holmes told police he was mad because he “thought that a vehicle behind them was following them too close,” according to an affidavit.

Police alleged Holmes stepped out of his car and fired a single shot at the car Acen was sitting in. Acen’s grandmother, who was driving the car, said she exchanged honks with another driver at a Little Rock intersection. She alleged the other driver got out of the car, and she heard a gunshot.

“After he got back into the car (Holmes) said, ‘That’s what you get for following me around,'” according to the affidavit.

Police said Acen had a gunshot wound in his chest and back. He was taken to the hospital but died from the injuries.

Holmes is being held at Pulaski County jail. His attorney said any statement Holmes has given authorities violates his constitutional rights. Trial dates have been scheduled for February.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com