Father speaks out on Andrew Byrd punishment involving ghost gun

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Ghost gun
Destiny Padilla (Credit: Mullin’s Memorial)

A father wants more done after his 17-year-old daughter, Destiny Padilla, accidentally shot and killed herself with a ghost gun in Lee County on July 18.

The ghost gun belonged to her cousin, who’s already facing charges for a drug incident. But, all Andrew got for his cousin’s death was a probation violation.

The gun Destiny used belonged to her second cousin, Andrew Byrd. Destiny died at Andrew’s home that he shared with his brother Phillip Byrd, one of the kids arrested for the Harns Marsh Middle School shooting threat last year.

Andrew Byrd
Andrew Byrd, 18. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said while Andrew built the gun, Destiny’s death was an accident and no criminal charges have been filed. All Andrew is charged with is, violating his probation by acquiring and building the ghost gun.

And, Andrew will not be able to own a gun for a year. But, this punishment is not enough for Josh Padilla, Destiny’s father.

“I don’t understand how this kid is getting away with everything,” said Josh. “He was on probation. He basically getting a slap on the wrist. And I just don’t understand why.”

“Everybody in the house should be held accountable for what happened. Because it was their house,” said Samantha Hush, Destiny’s stepmother. “They should be responsible for the firearms in their house and letting kids play with firearms in our house…it’s not fair that they’re just out there living their lives when she’s not. And she’s not going to be.”

“I wish it was a nightmare…that somebody would…I wish somebody would have pinched me,” said Josh. “So I can wake up you know, but it’s not. This is…it’s real.”

Buying the parts for and assembling a ghost gun is illegal. But with tools available on the internet, experts said it’s tough to crack down on. So, even though he’s not allowed to own guns, there’s nothing physically stopping Andrew from building one again.

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