Authorities in Virginia are investigating an incident in which seven children overdosed on sleeping pills while their adult supervisor went to a corner store.
According to WTVR, authorities responded to a home in Hopewell early Monday evening where they found four children unresponsive and three others lethargic. All seven children were under the age of eight, including an infant and a toddler. An investigation reportedly found that a 7-year-old child gave the other children his own sleeping pills, which were in an unlabeled bottle.
“They were left unsupervised for a short period of time and one of the kids that have prescription medication got into it and shared with the other children here,” Lt. Cheyenne Casale with the Hopewell Police told the news station.
According to the report, a parent or caretaker had gone to the corner store prior to the incident, apparently leaving the children alone.
The seven children were transported to a nearby hospital. Two of the younger children were then transferred to another hospital in serious condition, according to the report.
It appears that the 7-year-old boy who distributed the pills had a prescription for sleep medication, though it is not known what type of medication. Sources with knowledge of the investigation told WTVR that conditions in the home were not optimal.
“Find out who are we going to hold accountable and get these kids in a safe environment, that’s our number one goal,” Casale reportedly said.
The investigation is ongoing.