Danville Police Chief Wade Parsons has been charged with failure to secure his loaded service weapon after 15-year-old Jacob Carver committed suicide with the weapon in Parson's home March 11, the North Andover (Mass.) Eagle Tribune reported Saturday.
The boy's father, Geoffrey Carver, described the chief as "just very irresponsible." The teenager's mother, Debbie Carver, is Parsons' girlfriend.
Rockingham County Attorney James Reams said he charged the police chief Friday because of the severity of the shooting and his desire to send gun owners a message they need to take precautions.
Parsons, 54, could have to pay a $1,000 fine if he is convicted on a charge of negligent storage of firearms.
Reams said Parsons left his Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun on top of a closet safe where he regularly stored his weapons.
The prosecutor said no one knows why the teenager, a freshman at Timberlane Regional High School who wrestled and played football, killed himself.
Parson discovered the teenager's body after returning home from an errand, CNN reported. He has not been charged in Jacob Carver's death.