Arkansas boy, 8, accidentally shot and killed by 5-year-old brother at home with mom present

Officials will determine whether negligence was involved in leaving the weapons within the boys’ reach that would determine if charges would be filed

Arkansas boy, 8, accidentally shot and killed by 5-year-old brother at home with mom present
Police gather outside the house in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where a 5-year-old boy shot and killed his 8-year-old brother (Thv11 screenshot)
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PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS: In devastating news, an eight-year-old got shot by his five-year-old baby brother. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the accidental shooting took place on Thursday afternoon, July 14, around 2.30 pm in the 2700 block of Shannon Valley Road. The officials reached the scene after receiving a 911 call.

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Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods, who originally reported the age of the victim as nine and the age of the child who fired the loaded gun as three (names have not been revealed), said that the case is being investigated as an accident that could have been avoided. As per The Sun, he said in a release, “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. Gun owners that do not properly secure their firearms are just one split second away from one of these tragedies happening in their home.”

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As per the reports, when the officials reached the location of the incident, they discovered the eight-year-old being unresponsive inside the house. The county coroner was called to the home and the child was declared dead. The body of the boy was then taken to  Arkansas State Crime Lab where an autopsy will be performed.

Commenting on it, Sheriff Woods said, "It appears that based on arrival at least the mother was actually present. It was reported that she may have been sleeping at the time, heard the gunshot, went in, and actually found the 8-year-old on the floor." Adding further, he said, "You know, just a loss for words right now. Just because the nature of the incident and the ages of those involved."

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Ongoing case

The sheriff’s office said that the investigation into the shooting incident is still in ongoing process. However, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that several weapons were discovered and were taken from the home. Investigators and prosecutors are now trying to determine whether negligence was involved in leaving the weapons within the boys’ reach, which Sheriff Woods said would determine whether charges would be filed. He said, “There are some questions unanswered, like how secure the weapons truly were. The mother said the weapons were secure, but we’re vetting that information now.”

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Talking about the gun tragedies, he added, "Gun owners that do not properly secure their firearms are just one split second away from one of these tragedies happening in their home."

Arkansas’ gun control laws

According to everytownresearch, the state is tied for the second-worst gun laws in the country and has the eighth-highest rate of gun deaths in the nation. Arkansas has very few controls on gun ownership. There is no waiting period to purchase a firearm (including handguns), and the state does not require a permit to buy handguns.

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At present, the Arkansas Department of Human Services has taken the five-year-old from the home, including four other siblings. They will be placed in the custody of their aunt pending a protocol check. Also, during the investigation, family members were seen gathering outside the home as deputies continued their investigation, reported Gary Burton from Fox News.

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