Eddie, “Ryan”, Owens, the 3-year-old son of former Detective Eddie P. Owens, traumatically died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound after accessing and playing with his father’s work pistol which was stored in the family’s home in September, 2010. After the accident, many lawsuits were brought to court. Eddie Owens, the father of Ryan has sued the sheriff’s office where he used to work and also the gun safe manufacturer over the shooting death. The sheriff’s office purchased the gun safes from Stack-On Products, Inc. of Illinois from 2003-2010, according to the complaint. In November 2004, Stack-On voluntarily recalled 1,320 gun safes manufactured between 2003 and 2004, because of, “defects identified in the safes’ locking mechanisms.” According to The Columbian, “the company failed to warn customers that the defect also was present in other Strong Box safes, not just the 1,320 that were recalled.” According to the complaint, the sheriff’s office had gotten criticisms from other cops about their safes not functioning properly and failed to address the problem. The county and Stack-On have 20 days to file their responses in court. These two lawsuits aren’t the only ones to ensue do to the tragic death of the young boy. According to The Columbian:
Owens was fired in November 2010 after a sheriff’s internal affairs investigation found the seven-year sheriff’s veteran violated policies on proper firearms storage, off-duty conduct, ethics, competency and employee responsibilities in connection to Ryan’s death. Owens filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in May 2012.