A 5-year-old boy shot and killed his infant brother in what authorities say was an accident, KCTV reports. The older boy found the loaded gun while the 9-month-old was in a playpen yesterday morning, says Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White of the events in the small town of Elmo, Mo. The gun, White says, seems to have gone off while the 5-year-old was holding it, the Kansas City Star reports. The mother called 911, saying "her 5-year-old son had shot her 9-month-old son in the head with a paintball gun," the sheriff notes. But the gun turned out to be a .22-caliber Magnum revolver belonging to another relative, according to officials.
"We don't have any reason to believe" the incident was anything other than an accident, White says. He notes that "we are big supporters of firearms around here. … We live in a rural area. We have a lot of people who own weapons. They hunt. They shoot. Most people are very safe with them, and this is one of those cases where everything went together in the wrong way," KETV reports. A neighbor tells KCTV that "just some gun safety could have [come] into play, and would have maybe prevented the situation." (In May, an 18-month-old was accidentally shot and killed by his 3-year-old brother in Arizona.)