A 4-year-old child died in Louisiana over the weekend after a gun was fired in a vehicle where two adults were smoking marijuana, WDSU-TV reports. A preliminary investigation suggests that whoever fired the gun did not intend to harm anyone, but rather acted negligently, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The shooting occurred around 10:45 p.m. Saturday outside a home in Westwego, a suburb of New Orleans. “As the adults were smoking marijuana in the front seat, a shot was fired inside the vehicle that struck the victim, causing the fatal injury,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.
Medics rushed the boy to an area hospital, but he was later pronounced dead. Nola.com identified the victim as Jarion Walker. Walker was reportedly sitting in the back seat with a younger sibling while the adults were sitting in the front seats when the gun was fired, WWLTV reports. Police say they have ruled out the possibility that the injuries were self-inflicted, but they are still trying to assess who fired the gun. “Our initial investigation has led our investigators to believe that the child was injured not by a hostile act, but by a negligent one,” the sheriff’s office said in the press release. The sheriff’s office urged the public to be responsible gun owners, reminding the community that “firearms should never be left unattended in vehicles or in the reach of children.” In an interview with the newspaper, Walker’s great uncle, Charles Young, said his nephew loved to play and was especially fond of basketball. “He was a good kid, a very damn good kid,” Young told the newspaper. Young added that he has not slept much since learning of the death. “What the hell is going on here?” Young told the newspaper. “It’s just so hard to believe that that little man is gone.”