Family, friends celebrate birthday of toddler who accidentally shot himself

Family and friends of the one-year-old child who accidentally shot himself with his father’s loaded gun gathered to celebrate the toddler’s life Sunday with a balloon release.

Royal Clark would’ve turned two on Sept. 17.

The baby's mother, Brittany Brown, told FOX 5 this tragic accident was one that would affect everyone involved for the rest of their lives.

Family members and friends came out to the apartment where the accident took place two weeks prior to surround the mother with love.

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Family and friends helped celebrate the life of Royal Clark on what would have been his second birthday.

 "Today is really a rough day. You know, today is his birthday. He would have been two," she said, fighting tears. "It’s hard, and it’s rough, but I miss Royal and I feel so empty. My heart aches. It does."

The group sang "Happy Birthday" before releasing balloons in his memory.

Brittany told FOX 5 she created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Royal's funeral.

What happened to Royal Clark?

On Sept. 5, Cobb County police say Royal found a loaded gun at home and accidentally shot himself in the head.

Investigators say the gun belonged to his father, Conrad Clark.

They arrested Clark and charged him with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

Brittany Brown told FOX 5 she holds no ill will against the boy's father. She said she considers it a terrible mistake. 

"Conrad loved his son's life, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Royal, literally. This is a really tough situation for us, it was a huge mistake, and a mistake you can’t come back from," she said.

Royal’s grandmother, Bridget Brown says she hopes this is a lesson to other gun owners to never leave a weapon where a child can get to it. 

"Lock it up, secure it. Don't underestimate. I'm telling you, this is a pain you don't want to endure. I don't wish this on anyone. It just seems like a dream," the grandmother said. "I’m waiting for someone to wake us up." 

Clark is currently being held at the Cobb County Jail without bond.