A 4-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old brother with a gun the toddler thought was a toy, Virginia officials said.
The shooting took place on Tuesday morning, May 17, around 10:45 a.m. near East Old Mountain Road in Louisa County.
It’s not clear how the 4-year-old had access to the weapon that he fired at his brother, identified as Tyler Aponte, hitting him in the chest.
The child’s mother was home at the time, Major Donald A. Lowe told Fox 43.
“It’s of paramount importance to make sure your guns are secured and out of the reach of children and everything,” Major Lowe said. “At least have them unloaded or a safety lock on them, whatever you have to do to keep them from being discharged accidentally.”
Lowe said the shooting will be “thoroughly investigated.”
A neighbor, Linda Eddy, said that the Aponte family, which also includes two teenage males is usually very responsible.
4-year-old accidentally shoots, kills 2-year-old brother after mistaking gun for toy https://t.co/lfs2sMif0P
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“There’s no way they would leave a loaded gun out,” she told NBC 12. “They’re good people, good Christians. They love their children and would give anything to them.”
She said that she’s not sure how Tyler’s mother would make it through after the tragedy but indicated her faith would play a role.
“I don’t know how she is going to do it, but she believes in the Lord, so that’s good,” she said.
Lowe said officials’ thoughts and prayers are with the family.
“Right now, our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” he said.”This is a devastating, tragic, incident for this to happen.”
In March, a 7-month old baby survived after he was shot by his 4-year-old brother at their home in Temple, Texas, according to reports. Neighbors said they weren’t surprised.
“I’m not there to judge them, but in my family, it happened once with my cousin,” Adrian Martinez told KXXV of the Texas incident. “My cousin killed accidentally my other cousin. It happens. Accidents happen.”
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