JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A boy suffered critical injuries late Monday night when he was accidentally shot by his sibling inside his Durkeeville home, Jacksonville police said.
The shooting took place around 11 p.m. Monday on McConihe Street, near Wilcox Street.
When police arrived, a witness flagged down officers and led them to the injured boy.
He was taken to a local hospital, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He survived the shooting but is in critical condition, police said.
Police said all those involved in the accidental shooting were juveniles. Neighbors said five to six children live at the home and appear to be between the ages of 9 and 16.
A neighbor said children were screaming for help when the shooting happened. It’s unclear if an adult was home at the time or whose gun it was.
“It’s bad,” said Hazel Jones. “Very bad.”
Jones, who lives across the street from where it happened and calls herself the “neighborhood mom” said she saw the aftermath as Jacksonville police investigated.
“We always try to do right for these kids in the neighborhood,” Jones said. “It should’ve never taken place.”
Because the investigation involves children, it must be done delicately. Sometimes police bring in child psychologists to help get an accurate story.
Teaching gun safety
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, nationwide there have been at least 193 unintentional shootings by children in 2019, resulting in 73 deaths and 129 injuries.
Last year, there were 312 unintentional shootings by children, with 101 deaths and 222 injuries.
“Kids don’t know the rules of guns,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, a former police officer. “They know what they see on TV. You point and squeeze and whatever happens, happens.”
Jefferson believes the adults in the house should have done more to protect the kids.
“You want to try to see if, in fact, the gun was secured, and if they were curious and found it," Jefferson said. “You want to cover all of your bases, talking to the adult that lives in the house. Find out how they secure their weapon, where they secure their weapon."
There are lots of safety measures gun owners can take, like locking their weapons and storing them in different places from the ammo.
To see a complete guide for firearm safety, click here.