Arkansas 8-year-old shot and killed by his younger brother in what authorities believe was a tragic accident


An 8-year-old boy was shot and killed by his 5-year-old brother Thursday in what Arkansas authorities believe was an accidental shooting.

“This is a tragic incident that could have been avoided. I cannot stress strongly enough that guns must be well secured and kept out of hand and away from children at all times,” said Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in a press release.

“Gun owners who do not secure their firearms properly are only a split second away from one of those tragedies happening in their homes,” he said.

The shooting at a residence on the outskirts of Pine Bluff is still under investigation, the sheriff’s office said. Pine Bluff, a town of about 40,000 inhabitants, is 74 miles south of Little Rock.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services was notified of the shooting and arrived at the home to help assess the welfare of the children in the home. The boy’s body will be transferred to the state doctor’s office for an autopsy, the sheriff’s office said.

There have been at least 126 unintentional shootings of children in the United States this year – killing 55 people and injuring 78 others, according to the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. Last year, at least 392 people accidentally shot children, resulting in 163 people killed and 248 injured.

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