A 9-year-old child found a gun and fired a single shot inside a Florida home on Monday afternoon, killing a 6-year-old in the head, officials said.
The children were inside a home on Shady Pine Street South along with an adult at the time of the deadly shooting, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief J.D. Stronko said during a news briefing. The victim was taken to a local hospital, but did not survive.
Stronko would not disclose the relationship between the children and the victim has not been publicly identified.
So far this year, there have been at least 240 unintentional shootings by children in the U.S., resulting in 88 deaths and 160 injuries, according to data analyzed by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. There have been more than a dozen unintentional shootings involving children in Florida this year.
The adult who was in the house was questioned by police. Police have not said if any charges will be filed.
“We’re trying to get some answers to the specifics regarding the incident,” Stronko said.
Florida does have a child access prevention law. Under Florida Statute 790.174, any person who stores or leaves a loaded firearm and “who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm” is required to “keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure or shall secure it with a trigger lock” in most cases.
Leaving an unsecured weapon where a child can find it is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree.
Unintentional shootings involving children happen most often when children are at home, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. The organization reviewed data from 2015 to 2022 and found that the average number of shooting incidents by children per day was highest in the summer.
Across the U.S., around 4.6 million minors live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.