A six-year-old boy was accidentally shot to death Wednesday morning by his 10-year-old brother in what was supposed to be an innocent game of “cops and robbers,” according to a report by NBC New York.
The two boys were alone in their West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, home when the 10-year-old fired a pistol he didn’t realize was loaded, reports The Washington Post. The 10-year-old immediately called his mother, who told him to call 911. Julian Hoffman, his 6-year-old brother, was shot in the head. Julian was taken to a hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The two brothers reportedly lived at the home with their mother and her live-in boyfriend. The 9-mm pistol legally belonged to the mother, but Superintendent Coleman McDonough declined to comment on where the firearm was being kept in the house. He said regardless of where the gun was stored, it shouldn’t have been accessible to a child.
“There’s really no excuse for a weapon to get in hands of a child.”
No charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing.
In a completely unrelated incident, a 10-year-old boy shot his brother during another game of “cops and robbers” Tuesday in Wisconsin. The boy shot his 14-year-old brother in the chest while the two were playing the game with a third sibling.
Though the magazine was removed from the gun, the boys didn’t realize the rifle still had a round in the chamber.
The local sheriff’s office said the boy died at the scene.
According to CNN, the rifle was owned by the boys’ father, and was kept in a spot that was easily accessible to the children.
The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that nearly 1,300 children die yearly from gun-related incidents, 82% of those being boys. Around 5,970 children are treated for gunshot wounds every year.