Police say that an 8-year-old boy died when his younger brother accidentally shot him with a shotgun while they were playing with it at their home.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that the incident happened around 3 p.m. at the Bear Creek Apartments, which are about 20 miles west of downtown Houston, Texas.
The 8-year-old boy, who was home alone with his 10-year-old and 13-year-old siblings, was hit in the torso with a shotgun bullet in their only bedroom.
In a statement released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Gonzalez said, “A child was playing with a shotgun when it went off and hit his brother.” “At the scene, the baby was said to have died. A teen sister was there too, but she wasn’t hurt.”
It’s not clear if the shotgun was loaded before the kids played with it or if it was loaded while they were playing with it. During a press conference to talk about what happened, Gonzalez said, “We know the family is devastated by what happened out here this afternoon.”
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“I always find it hard to say it was an accident because things like this are really avoidable… If a gun is going to be in the house, especially if children are going to be there, it needs to be safely locked up or it shouldn’t be there at all.”
KTRK, an ABC News station in Houston, says that the family recently moved from Venezuela to the Houston area and was in the process of signing up their kids for new schools.
Depending on what the investigation finds, the children’s parents could be charged with a crime. “We always encourage safe gun ownership and keeping guns in a safe place,” Gonzalez said. The investigation into what happened to the 8-year-old boy who died is still going on.