US teen,14, fatally shoots younger brother
A 14-year-old boy has shot dead his 9-year-old brother in Perris, California, officials say.
The incident occurred in the 100 block of Metz Road early on Saturday afternoon, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department officials said.
Deputy Patty Stoyer said it was not known whether the shooting happened inside the home or whether there were any adults present. But he added that the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Apparently, the gun was in a box and one of the children found it by chance and began to play with it before the tragedy happened.
“The older brother pointed [the gun] at the younger brother, pulled the trigger and apparently it was loaded. And he died from the shot,” said Mayor Daryl Busch.
“It’s a real tragedy to happen to anyone, especially with their children like this,” Busch added.
Neighbors said the incident should serve as a reminder for gun owners to keep their guns locked and away from their children.
Police have launched an investigation, but the shooting is said to be accidental, Stoyer stated.
Gun-related casualties have turned into a “major public health problem” in the US, said a study published by eight US medical associations in February.
About 4.5 million firearms are sold annually in the United States at a cost of 2 to 3 billion dollars.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11,000 people are killed with a firearm each year in the country.