A game of “cops and robbers” between brothers turned deadly when a 10-year-old Wisconsin boy shot his 14-year-old sibling with his father’s rifle.
A press release issued by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office stated that the brothers, plus another related 12-year-old boy, were playing Tuesday morning with what they thought was an unloaded gun without a magazine.
Sadly, a lone bullet was loaded in the chamber when the 10-year-old pointed the rifle at his brother and fired, the Reedsburg Times-Press reported.
The 14-year-old was shot in the chest, and resuscitation efforts by first responders were unsuccessful, according to the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office.
“This firearm had the magazine removed, but unbeknownst to the 10-year-old, a round was in the chamber,” Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister said in a news release. “The firearm discharged and struck the 14-year-old in the chest.”
Sheriff’s Office Capt. Michael Stoddard told the Times-Press that other people were on the property, which is south of Loganville, when the shooting happened. How many people, however, is unclear. Those involved have not been identified.
Stoddard said all three children lived at the home, and that the gun belonged to the father and was accessible to the children inside the home. The shooting remains under police investigation.
“I don’t know how the family is going to deal with it,” Stoddard said.
Unfortunately, the family has plenty of company in this country from other parents who have dealt with a child being killed or injured unintentionally with a firearm.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, which tracks unintentional shootings by children, there had been 167 unintentional shootings by children in 2017 through Aug. 6, after 264 unintentional shootings where children injured or killed someone in 2016.
The New York Daily News cited a study published in the journal Pediatrics earlier this summer which stated that an average of nearly 1,300 children age 17 or younger die each year from firearm-related wounds, and an average of nearly are 5,800 injured.