DALE CITY, Va. -- The gun most likely used in the killings of a mother and son in their Dale City home was a family heirloom stored in a bedroom closet.
According to court records, the 17-year-old neighbor charged in the killings managed to locate a .22-caliber rifle and a revolver in the victims' house. Authorities believe he used one of the guns to kill Jean and James Smith, then left the house with the two weapons.
Rick Smith, the husband of Jean and father of James, tells The Washington Post the weapons had probably not been fired in 25 years. He says they were used for target practice when he was a child. He says the weapons were not loaded but that there may have been ammunition in the house.
Police say the guns were stored unloaded in a closet in the master bedroom.