The calm of a residential area of Jacksonville (Florida) was broken when a nine-year-old boy shot a six-year-old boy in the head. The minor was taken to the hospital, but died as a result of the shot, according to local police.
The events occurred this Monday afternoon, as detailed in a press conference by the deputy chief of the Jacksonville sheriff’s office, JD Stronko. “This afternoon at 2:47pm, patrol officers were dispatched on a report of a person with a gunshot wound in the 5500 block of Shady Pine Street South. Upon arrival, officers located a six-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the head. The victim was transported for medical treatment, but she was ultimately pronounced deceased as a result of the injury,” he said.
The initial investigation determined that the two minors were inside the residence under the care of an adult, Stronko explained. “One of the juveniles was able to obtain a firearm and fired a single shot that hit the victim,” he added.
“There are no indications of criminal violence related to this incident. There are also no outstanding suspects related to this incident,” concluded Stronko, who stressed that the investigation was still preliminary. Due to legal restrictions for the protection of minors, Stronko did not clarify the relationship between the two children. Other details of the event are pending investigation, she insisted.
Juvenile firearm incidents are relatively common in the United States, where the right to be armed is enshrined in the Constitution. In summer, when children spend more time at home, the frequency of incidents in a heavily armed country increases. In July, a three-year-old boy shot and killed his sister-of-one with a handgun in the Fallbrook community northeast of San Diego, California.
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There have been more than 200 unintentional shootings by children in the United States so far this year, including another six in California, according to the group Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that advocates for stricter regulation of firearms. and that follows up on these types of incidents.
According to Everytown, almost every day a child has access to a loaded firearm and unintentionally shoots himself or another person in the United States – an average of 350 children per year. Victims of children’s shootings are often children themselves. More than nine out of 10 injured or killed in unintentional shootings involving children were also under 18 years of age. When children unintentionally shoot another person, the victim is often a sibling or friend. More than 70% of unintentional shootings of children occur in or around homes, most often at times when children are likely to be home: on the weekend and in the summer.
The two age groups most likely to unintentionally shoot themselves or others are high school students ages 14 to 17, followed by preschoolers ages five and younger, according to the organization, which indicates that nearly one in three unintentional shooters were preschoolers. Since 2015, the proportion of shootings involving children five and under has increased, while that of high school students has decreased.
States with child safe storage or child access prevention laws have the lowest rates of unintentional shootings of children. Incidents are lowest in states with laws that hold owners responsible when children access an unguarded gun.
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