A Missouri boy shot and killed his 9-month-old brother in a home on Monday, police said.
The boy, 5-years-old, found his grandfather’s .22-caliber magnum revolver that was kept on a shelf built into the headboard in the master bedroom, Nodway County Sheriff Darren White told the Washington Post. The baby was in a crib in the same room when the gun went off, the bullet striking him in the head.
“It was just lying out,” White said of the gun. “Little kids are curious. It was in the headboard of the bed, and he found it.”
The children, their mother and two siblings were reportedly staying at their grandfather’s house in Elmo, Mo., according to a neighbor. White said on Tuesday it is unclear if they were just visiting or lived in the home.
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The boy’s mother, Alexis Widerholt, was in the kitchen when she heard a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot, according to White. She went into the living room where she found three of her four children – including the 5-year-old boy. Another child was playing with a paintball gun. The nine-month-old boy, her fourth child, was inside the master bedroom.
White happened to be near the phone when Widerholt placed a frantic call to police just before 9 a.m., pleading for help for her baby, who she thought at the time had been shot with a paintball gun, he said.
When police arrived, they found the baby was actually suffering from a gunshot wound to the side of its head. Authorities found the .22-caliber gun nearby. The boy was rushed by air ambulance to a hospital in Kansas City, where he was pronounced dead, the Washington Post reported.
Police said there is no reason to believe the tragic shooting is anything other than an accident, but are still investigating. There were several other weapons located at the home, according to White.
Missouri Boy Fatally Shoots Baby Brother With .22-Caliber Magnum Revolver