A 9-month-old Missouri boy has died after being shot in the head by his 5-year-old brother, police said Monday.
WDAF News reports the infant was shot just before 9 a.m. Monday. The mother of the two boys called for emergency services, saying the child had been shot in the head with a paintball gun.
When ambulance and law enforcement personnel arrived at the Elmo, Missouri home they determined the child had been shot with a .22 caliber revolver.
The injured child was flown by helicopter to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City where he was pronounced dead.
Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White said the gun used in the shooting had been kept on a shelf built into the headboard of the bed in the master bedroom, near where the 9-month-old had been resting in his play pen.
Three other children lived in the home, including the 5-year-old who was believed to have fired the fatal shot. A neighbor took the children into her home while investigators and emergency personnel worked the scene.
The children are now staying with relatives, according to a KCTV News report.
The sheriff’s office said that the gun did not belong to the mother but to another family member.
White told The Kansas City Star that investigators believe the 5-year-old found the gun on the shelf and was handling it when it went off and said investigators think the shooting was an accident.
“We don’t have any reason to believe otherwise,” White said.
White did confirm, however, that he had contacted the prosecutor’s office to make them aware of the case. The office will reportedly assemble a child fatality review board consisting of hospital workers, law enforcement officers and staff from children’s services to determine if charges should be filed against the parents.