5-year-old boy finds gun, shoots baby brother in head
By Holly Yan, CNN
Updated 10:59 AM ET, Tue January 20, 2015
(CNN)The mother called 911 to say her 5-year-old boy shot his baby brother with a paintball gun.
But it wasn’t a paintball gun. It was a .22-caliber Magnum revolver. And the 9-month-old boy didn’t survive.
Authorities are trying to figure out what led to Monday’s shooting in 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.
Sheriff Darren White told CNN affiliate KCTV that the baby was in a playpen when his brother found the gun lying around a bed.
When emergency crews arrived, they found the infant had been shot in the head. The child was flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was pronounced dead, the station reported.
Authorities say the gun belongs to a relative, but not the mother. Police are investigating the gun’s ownership, KCTV reported.
The mother’s other three children are with relatives, according to the station.
The sheriff said guns are rampant in the rural community.
“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 added, “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.”
Though they say the shooting was accidental, authorities have not determined whether charges will be filed against any adult in the case.
At least one nearby resident told KCTV she believes the shooting could have been easily prevented.
“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,” neighbor Jessica Hutchison said.
According to Project ChildSafe, gun owners should lock unloaded weapons in a safe, vault or cabinet inaccessible to children. Gun locks should be used in addition to safe storage, and ammunition should be locked away separately from any firearm.
Parents should also teach their children that if they find a gun in a house, they should leave it where it is and tell an adult, even if the weapon resembles a toy, the advocacy group says.
Monday’s incident is the latest in a series of high-profile shootings involving children. Among them, a 4-year-old girl killed her cousin, also 4, in Detroit while playing with a gun found under a bed last January, a 9-year-old accidentally killed a shooting instructor in August while firing a submachine gun at an Arizona range and last month a 2-year-old fatally shot his mother in an Idaho Walmart after finding a gun in her purse.
CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.
I can’t imagine what the five year old’s life will be like knowing he shot his baby brother. I should think that the adult who left the gun lying around should in the least be charged with negligence leading to death.
Yes, that is true. Guns, despite the NRA, should all be made illegal. Hugs, Barbara
When I read that the other day it made me sick to my stomach. I kept thinking about that poor boy and that he will live with the memory of killing his brother forever.
I would just be glad if all guns would just vanish one day.
Jackie, I agree so much. The psychological problems this child faces are huge. I want to smash all the guns of America. Our country is being held by the NRA. The organization should be illegal. They are the etiology of ever gun death in America. Sorry, didn’t mean to rant. This is so serious. Hugs, Barbara
I really don’t know what to say.
Appropriate. Hugs, Barbara
What a tragedy, on so many levels 😦
That is the perfect word for it. Hugs, Barbara
Goodness! Hadn’t heard about this stuff (restrictions are much tighter here – UK). I only know one person with a gun (and I know a lot of folks) and that’s my brother in law who shoots grouse and rabbits. His rifle is always mounted high on the wall, unloaded, bullets locked away. Even then visiting kids are given a lecture on guns etc. (that they are not toys and even adults only shoot what they intend eat). For sure it seems people are not responsible enough to have them in many cases. It’s pretty much impossible for most to get a gun licence here except for hunting rifles and even then they check you out thoroughly. Even most police don’t carry guns God bless them.
It is the National Rifle Association (NRA) here who has a well funded and powerful lobby which is dangerous and has a hold on Congress. It is wrong but no matter how many are killed or who they are…the NRA blocks legislation to do away with guns. Thanks for stopping by and your wonderful comment. Hugs, Barbara
yes and promoted no doubt by flims like sniper etc.. I just so hate the way violence is high-lighted and sold as entertainment. Eve
Senseless and tragic.
Reblogged this on Blackbutterfly7 and commented:
This is so very sad. Guns were invented to kill. Once that bullet is fired, it can’t be called back.
Exactly Xena. I think the NRA is too powerful and dangerous. They have too much control over Congress. Hugs, Barbara
The adult should be charged with negligence, if the child found the gun lying around in the bedroom, well, he is only 5. We should not blame the media, it is our job as parents to teach our children. We have to be the ones to show them what is right and wrong. What a tragedy, I am glad I live in Canada, cases like this are very rare, thank God.
I do not disagree with you. No one should own a gun. Hugs, Barbara
Anne Harding Woodworth, a poet-friend, wrote a poem about this horrible incident. You can find it here: http://newversenews.blogspot.com/2015/01/tragedy-in-elmo-mo.html
This is hard to read, but important to know. Thank you for posting this story.