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5-year-old boy shoots 2-year-old sister in Kentucky

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:03 a.m. HST, May 01, 2013

BURKESVILLE, Ky. » A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister to death in rural southern Kentucky with a rifle he had received as a gift last year, authorities said.

The children's mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped on to the porch for "no more than three minutes," Cumberland County Coroner Gary White told WKYT-TV.

White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the boy received the .22-caliber rifle as a gift. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it.

"It's a Crickett," White said, referring to a company that specifically makes guns, clothes and books for children. "It's a little rifle for a kid. ... The little boy's used to shooting the little gun."

White said the shooting was an accident.

It wasn't immediately clear who gave the boy the gun or exactly what led up to the shooting. White did not return a telephone call from The Associated Press today.

State police said in a brief news release the shooting occurred when the boy was "playing" with the rifle, but did not elaborate.

It is not clear whether any charges will be filed, said Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Billy Gregory.

"I think it's too early to say whether there will or won't be," Gregory said today.

Keystone Sporting Arms, based in Milton, Penn., produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles in 2008, according to its website. It also makes guns for adults, but most of its products are geared toward children.

The company's slogan is "my first rifle" and its website has a "Kids Corner" section where pictures of young boys and girls are displayed, most of them showing the children at shooting ranges and on bird and deer hunts. The smaller rifles are sold with a mount to use at a shooting range.

"The goal of KSA is to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve," the website said.

No one at the company answered the phone today.

According to its website, Bill McNeal and his son Steve McNeal decided to make guns for young shooters in the mid-1990s and opened Keystone in 1996 with just four employees, producing 4,000 rifles that year. It now employs about 70 people.

Burkesville sits near the Tennessee-Kentucky state line along the Cumberland River, among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The small city is about 90 miles northeast of Nashville, Tenn.

It is home to a Mennonite community that gained attention in 2010 when nine of its members were killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer.

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usc wrote:
WOW! A five year old with his own rifle shooting his two year old sister. WOW!
on May 1,2013 | 07:52AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Someone gifted a 5-year old with a rifle??? Identify the person who gave a kid a lethal weapon.
on May 1,2013 | 08:17AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
on May 1,2013 | 10:14AM
Puna89 wrote:
What? A gift? yikes..
on May 1,2013 | 08:31AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Recommended by the NRA ...for parents to give to their kids.
on May 1,2013 | 09:02AM
Bumby wrote:
"My First Rifle" equates to "My First Kill" What are these people thinking. Kids having toy guns and playing make believe. Give them real guns and make believe becomes reality.
on May 1,2013 | 10:10AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Karma: Parents encouraging and showing their kids how to kill defenseless animals for fun.
on May 1,2013 | 10:31AM
bsdetection wrote:
guns don't kill people; 5 year olds do.
on May 1,2013 | 11:10AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Second Amendment: The right of a 5-year-old to keep and bear arms.
on May 1,2013 | 11:18AM
lowtone123 wrote:
Who would give a working rifle as a gift to a 5 year old? Who would leave said rifle, loaded or not, within reach of children? What kind of company would make working rifles for children? WTH?
on May 1,2013 | 11:25AM
hanalei395 wrote:
First.... the OBVIOUS. Obama haters. People who did not vote for Obama.
on May 1,2013 | 11:46AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it. Child neglect.
on May 1,2013 | 08:03PM
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