Minneapolis Boy Shoots, Kills Toddler Brother
Dec. 06--A 4-year-old Minneapolis boy found his parents' loaded handgun, began to play with it and shot his younger brother in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Dec. 5, police said.
The 2-year-old died at the scene while emergency medical personnel were trying to save him.
Police were investigating the incident and said they would turn their findings over to Hennepin County prosecutors to see if charges should be forthcoming; it is illegal to store a loaded firearm where a child might get to it.
"Very clearly, a 4-year-old should never have access to a firearm, loaded or unloaded," said Sgt. William Palmer, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department.
The shooting was reported about 12:45 p.m. at a duplex in the 1900 block of Seventh Street South. It is a block west of Augsburg College in the city's Cedar-Riverside/West Bank neighborhood.
By late afternoon, authorities had not identified the victim.
"We believe that the 4-year-old located the loaded handgun and was playing with it when he shot his little brother," Palmer said. He said the brothers' parents were home at the time, as well as a 1-year-old sibling.
WCCO-AM reported that the parents were downstairs in the town house.
Police said investigators were interviewing the parents but no arrests have been made.
An ambulance crew arrived from Hennepin County Medical Center -- less than a mile and a half away -- and the child died as he was being treated.
Under Minnesota law, it is a gross misdemeanor
for a person to negligently store or leave a loaded firearm "in a location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child is likely to gain access, unless reasonable action is taken to secure the firearm against access by the child."
This report includes information from the Associated Press.
Copyright 2012 - Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.