A 5-year-old boy shot his 8-year-old brother in Jefferson County, Arkansas, last week.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the child’s death after deputies were dispatched to the children’s home following a 911 call, per the press release.
5-Year-Old Fatally Shoots 8-Year-Old Brother
When officers arrived at the house, they discovered the unresponsive 8-year-old boy inside the residence. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Jefferson County Coroner.
Investigators believe the shooting was in fact an accident.
“This is a tragic incident that could have been avoided. I can’t emphasize strongly enough that guns need to be well secured and kept out of the hands and away from children at all times,” Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. said in a statement.
“Gun owners that do not properly secure their firearms are just one split second away from one of these tragedies happening in their home.”
The names of the children have not been released.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services were notified of the accident and arrived on scene “to aid in the assessment of the welfare of the children in the home as well as other conditions,” the release states.
Woods said his office will be running a trace of the gun to determine ownership of the gun. He also said the gun was fully loaded when deputies arrived at the scene.
The 5-year-old and four other siblings will be placed in the custody of a relative pending an investigation.
The sheriff says authorities were still working to determine whether any criminal charges will be filed.
The body of the 8-year-old will be sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy as the investigation continues, the sheriff’s office said.
So far this year there have been at least 126 unintentional shootings by children in the U.S., resulting in 55 deaths and 78 injuries, according to data analyzed by advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.
Last month an 8-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a 1-year-old girl and injured a 2-year-old girl at a Florida motel.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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