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Toddler's horrific death cuts deep into one family's heart


LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WPDE) - A family that's dealt with the loss of their own child is preaching their message of gun safety after learning about the shooting death of a two-year-old on Christmas night.



Police say Tuesday around 6 p.m. Sincere Smith grabbed his father's gun off a table, and it fired. Smith died on the way to the hospital.



Mylissa Bellamy saw the story unfold through tweets and on her computer.



"This happens more often than people realize. A comment that I actually read in a news thread from somebody was 'Well this doesn't happen very often in places like this.' Well yes it does," Mylissa said.


"Matthew was such a vibrant and vivacious child," Mylissa said.


In January 2010, Matthew went to stay at a friend's house.


"Unknown to us a gun had been left on a bed in the guest room, and as his friend picked it up, it discharged," Mylissa said.



T

he bullet traveled through their son's heart. At just 11-years-old, Matthew died.


"

O

ur world ended in that moment

,

"

Mylissa said.



Matthew's death
nearly broke the Bellamy's, but as they saw more children killed in accidental shootings, they created the Matthew Bellamy Project to teach others about gun safety.



A

bout a dozen times a year, the family goes to different events, hands out free gun locks and teach

es


kids rules on gun safety.


"

W

e're not asking people to give up their guns

," Myllisa said. "W

e're just asking people if you have guns to be responsible.

..W

e just thought maybe in memory of our child, in memory of Sincere maybe we can prevent this from another family."



T

he Matthew Bellamy Project operates on grants from the federal government and donations.



The

next fundraiser is on January 23rd at the First Baptist Church in North Myrtle Beach.

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