According to a CNN report, a 5-year-old boy fatally shot his baby brother with a .22-caliber Magnum revolver, which he reportedly found lying around the bed while the infant was in his playpen, Sheriff Darren White said. The mother then called 911, and the child was flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities are however trying to unravel what could have led to the shooting on Monday in the city of Elmo, in the northwest corner of Missouri.”At this point foul play is not suspected, and it appears at this time that the shooting was accidental,” the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office said.
The sheriff said guns are quite popular in the rural community and authorities have confirmed that the gun belongs to a relative, and not the mother. “We are big supporters of firearms around here,” White told CNN affiliate KETV. “We have a lot of people that own weapons. They hunt. They target shoot. … Most people are very safe with them, and this is one of those cases where everything went together in the wrong way.”
He continued: “We got some guys that work here that have little kids of their own. … This kind of hits home with them, too. They take it personally.”
Although authorities believe the shooting was accidental, they are yet to determine whether charges will be filed against any adult in the case. One nearby resident ‘Jessica Hutchison‘ told KCTV she believes the shooting was avoidable: “You know, just some gun safety could have come into play, and would have maybe, you know prevented the situation, but it’s just really sad, altogether,” the neighbor said.
According to Project ChildSafe however, unloaded weapons should be locked in a safe, vault or cabinet inaccessible to children. Gun locks should also be utilized in addition to storage safety, and ammunition should be locked away in a separate location from the firearm. Parents are also expected to teach their children that if they find a gun around the house, they should not touch it but report the finding to an adult, regardless of whether the weapon resembles a toy or not, the advocacy group stated.
Monday’s incident is the latest in a series of accidental but fatal shootings involving children. Last month, we reported another fatal incident at the Idaho Walmart in which a 2-year-old boy fatally shot his mother after pulling out her gun from her purse. Click HERE if you missed it.