A 5-year-old boy on Saturday evening shot his 12-year-old brother to death with a loaded gun he mistook for a toy gun.
The loaded gun was found in the woods and the boy fired a single shot to his brother’s chest at around 7.40pm in the 600 block of Hammock Street.
First responders performed CPR and the boy was taken to Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital where he later died.
The dead boy and his siblings, ages five and seven, were in the woods in Atlanta, Georgia, when the youngest of the three found the gun, according to a police statement.
Special investigators spoke to the five-year-old and determined he thought it was a toy when he fired it, striking his brother.
In their statement on Sunday, Griffin police said the shooting was likely a ‘tragic accident’ and officers would now investigate who dumped the loaded weapon in the woods.
The police also said that officers had searched an area near where the gun was found two hours earlier on Saturday after a group of suspects fled a traffic stop nearby
The suspects fled on foot behind some houses and police lost track of them.
A bag of suspected MDMA drugs, commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly, was discovered, but no gun was found at the time.
‘We will diligently pursue and charge any other parties responsible for the actions leading up to the apparent abandonment of this weapon allowing for access by these innocent children,’ officials said.
The gun was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for touch DNA analysis, authorities added.
‘We will leave no stone unturned as we search for the individuals responsible for the abandonment of this weapon,’ Griffin Police Chief Mike Yates stated.
A neighbor Tom Whitehead who owns an auto body shop in front of the family’s home, told CNN affiliate WGCL.
“The children were out here peacefully playing in the backyard on the trampoline,”
“The little one found a gun. … Turns around, thinks he’s playing, says ‘bang bang.’ It was loaded and killed him. Think about that mother. The next day, Mother’s Day, and one boy is dead by the hand of his younger brother.”
A report has it that the victim was visiting with relatives from Sharpsburg when the incident occurred as the children were playing on a trampoline.