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Police: 6-year-old accidentally shot by 4-year-old

By Bruce Shipkowski

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:45 a.m. HST, Apr 09, 2013


TOMS RIVER, N.J. » A 4-year-old child who brought a gun outside his home shot and seriously wounded a 6-year-old neighbor when the weapon somehow discharged as they played together, authorities said today.

The child got the .22-caliber rifle from inside his home in Toms River in southern New Jersey and it discharged accidently around 6:40 p.m. Monday, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said during a news conference. The wounded child was about 15 yards away from the younger one at the time.

The younger child's mother then called 911 to report the shooting, Coronato said.

The wounded child was shot in the head and hospitalized in serious condition, and further details on his injuries were not disclosed. The younger child was not hurt.

Coronato declined to provide specific details on the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation, and said it was "too early" to know whether anyone would be charged in the case. He would not say who owned the gun or speculate on how the 4-year-old got the weapon.

Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy called the shooting a "tragic incident" that has affected the whole community.

"Right now, we're keeping this child in our prayers, and I ask everyone to do the same," he said.

The shooting occurred in what neighbors say is a quiet residential area of the Ocean County community, at a home near the edge of a cul-de-sac.

"I'm sad for the children involved and their families, but I'm angry with whoever owns that gun and allowed a little child to get hold of it. A 4-year-old can't load a gun," said Debi Coto, who lives a few doors down from where the shooting occurred. She said the families of the two children involved had not lived in the neighborhood for too long, and she did not know them well.

Coto said she was home when the shooting occurred but did not hear the gunshot. She said it initially wasn't clear what had happened, but then neighbors saw police bring out the gun.

"I had just been telling my sister how nice it is to see kids playing together and enjoying themselves, and then this happens," she said.

Coto said the 4-year-old's mother seemed "very upset" about what had happened and appeared to be trying to determine what had happened.

The shooting came just days after a 4-year-old boy in Tennessee grabbed a loaded gun at a family cookout and accidentally shot and killed the wife of a sheriff's deputy.

Investigators said Wilson County Deputy Daniel Fanning was showing his weapons to a relative in a bedroom of his Lebanon home on Saturday when the boy came in and picked up a gun off the bed. Sheriff Robert Bryan said the weapon discharged, hitting 48-year-old Josephine Fanning, who died at the scene.

The accidents happened amid debate over gun control laws in the wake of December's Connecticut school massacre.







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Mahalo wrote:
This is just so sad. Don't people understand kids play with water guns, toy guns and computer game guns and know how to aim and pull the trigger. What they don't realize is these real guns kill or hurt for real. PARENTS if you must own a gun... it MUST be in a locked box on the highest shelve in your room. Prayers to the 6 year old.
on April 9,2013 | 09:53AM
serious wrote:
This is horrible!!! Sad! Gun laws would not have worked in these cases. Parents, supervision, lock up the guns and booze. Monitor your kids. Look at the teen car accidents we have in HI--same thing!!!
on April 9,2013 | 09:55AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
No not same as auto accidents. Cars are to transport people to work,school,shop etc.etc.it makes the economy tick! Guns, only for killing.......target shooting,right....hunting,ok......whatever, so don't compare cars and say we should ban cars. Such a stupid comparison.
on April 9,2013 | 06:11PM
lowtone123 wrote:
Who leaves loaded guns within reach of a 4-year old?
on April 9,2013 | 10:11AM
primo1 wrote:
Toms River, NJ apparently...
on April 9,2013 | 10:13AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Who leaves loaded guns within reach of a 4 year old? Same guy that is on the Internet proclaiming his 2nd amendment, not paying attention, trolling for anti gun advocates. OMG what was that explosion?
on April 9,2013 | 06:14PM
Slow wrote:
And there are still many who maintain more guns means less violence. I say you are lying.
on April 9,2013 | 10:15AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
If you knew I was packing a gun, would you mess with me?
on April 9,2013 | 11:19AM
patk wrote:
You cannot control a violent chaotic situation with more gun violence. That is NRA rhetoric. It is childish fantasy to think that putting more guns into everyone's hands will somehow result in less violence.
on April 9,2013 | 11:36AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
We all have the right to bear arms.
on April 9,2013 | 02:29PM
hanalei395 wrote:
If this other person was also packing a gun and he/she KNEW that you packed one too, and you didn't know ANY of this, this person WILL shoot first if it comes to messing around.
on April 9,2013 | 03:00PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
IHO, this one sounds fishy.
on April 9,2013 | 10:19AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
The owner of the weapon should be held accountable as part of the licensing requirement of owning a gun is the place to keep. Being negligent in this kind of situation can take a life. This whole thing wouldn't have happened if the gun owner kept the weapon in a locked cabinet out of the reach of children. I hope the child is okay.
on April 9,2013 | 10:29AM
OldDiver wrote:
The NRA is fighting accountability.
on April 9,2013 | 11:02AM
Allenk wrote:
Where's the responsible parenting?
on April 9,2013 | 10:29AM
sak wrote:
Not in Waianae, that's for sure!
on April 9,2013 | 03:52PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Huh? We talking white townships including Newtown? Aurora, Columbine etc.etc. Waianae? Punch to the head maybe, but no one dead.
on April 9,2013 | 06:17PM
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