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.


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



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.


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


kids rules on gun safety.



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.


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


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


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