A 19-month-old boy has been shot dead after his four-year-old brother accidentally shot him in the chest at their home in Kansas, police have said.
Police said the two boys and their three-year-old half sister were playing in a bedroom of their house in Wichita on Tuesday afternoon.
The older boy reached into the drawer of a bedside table and pulled the trigger of the loaded 9mm pistol, which fired through the drawer and hit the toddler.
Police lieutenant Todd Ojile told The Wichita Eagle that the shooting was “a terrible, terrible tragedy”.
“It appears the four-year-old did know where this firearm was. He had seen the firearm,” he said.
“No one-year-old should end up being shot in the chest, no matter what circumstances.”
The officer said there was no law in the area about how firearms should be stored.
The boy’s father, 33, and his brother, 22, were in the living room when the shot went off. They took the child to hospital, but he died about 45 minutes later.
Police said the father could be charged with an offence, but added they were still investigating.
Neighbours told Eyewitness News of their shock at the death.
Shirley Jackson said: “My heart is broken because a one-year-old, a baby? He didn't even get a chance.”
Another, Sherry Ray, said: “That just crushed me, you know, it took my heart.
“I was just taken away … I don't have the words to really say, describe how I felt.”Reuse content