Police in Morgan City, Louisiana, say that a 14-year-old boy fatally shot an 11-year-old boy on Saturday evening after he gained access to a firearm. Officers who responded to the residence just before 7:30 p.m. found the boy had been “critically injured.”
“Life-saving measures were unsuccessful,” the police department said in a statement released on Facebook. He was later pronounced dead.
According to the statement, investigators found that several “juveniles” within the residence had obtained the weapon. The 14-year-old allegedly “took possession of the weapon” loaded it and fired it, “tragically taking the life of the victim.”
Police say the shooter was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and illegal use of a dangerous instrument. He has been transferred to a juvenile detention facility and awaits a court hearing.
The Morgan City Police Department said it extends its “heartfelt condolences to the families affected by this tragedy.”
“Chief Blair urges parents to survey their homes to determine that every step possible is taken to ensure that their homes are safe for their families and children. Nothing can be taken for granted,” the department said.
Reached Sunday evening, the Morgan City Police Department told Newsweek that the day’s earlier statement contained the latest information regarding the case and that the investigation is ongoing.
Firearms are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. according to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that advocates for gun control.
“Every year, 18,000 children and teens are shot and killed or wounded and approximately 3 million are exposed to gun violence,” the organization states.
In an incident in Texas in December, police said a 10-year-old shot a 13-year-old relative while playing with a gun. The 10-year-old accidentally fired the weapon and struck the teenager in the face. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment and was released, according to a sheriff.
In Georgia in November, a 3-year-old fatally shot his 5-year-old cousin on Thanksgiving after he got ahold of an unsecured weapon. And in a separate Thanksgiving Day shooting, a 13-year-old boy in Minnesota, who was later arrested, accidentally shot and killed a 5-year-old relative.
“Several other juveniles were present as they were attempting to make a social media video. At some point the 13-year-old male shot the gun striking the 5-year-old male victim,” police wrote in a news release at the time.