In the latest tragic shooting fatality to involve small children, a 4-year-old boy in Kentucky allegedly shot and killed his 6-year-old sister Sunday morning after the boy picked up his grandfather's gun.
The names of the two children have not yet been released.
The apparently accidental shooting occurred sometime Sunday morning in Hopkinsville, according to local NBC affiliate WSMV. The station reports that William Wyatt, the siblings' grandfather, had been cleaning his gun and turned away for a few moments, which was when the brother picked it up and allegedly pointed it at his sister. The bullet entered through the girl's face and lodged in her spine.
"I'm sitting here, I just came off the chair and picked her up, and put her in my arms, and I held her until the rescue squad came here," Wyatt said, according to WSMV.
The sister was taken first to Jennie Stuart Medical Center and then transferred to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, where she died late Sunday night, according to News Channel 5.
The gun was a .38 caliber pistol, according to the Kentucky New Era. So far, no charges have been filed against Wyatt, but the investigation is ongoing, according to News Channel 5.
"People have to be careful. If they're going to have a weapon they have to be responsible, and it's unfortunate that it takes tragedy for people to come to the realization they have to be responsible," Rochelle Mendoza, a neighbor of the family, told News Channel 5.
This most recent death mirrors a similar tragedy that played out in Kentucky in April. In that case, a 5-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a .22-caliber rifle he received as a birthday present. A few weeks earlier, 6-year-old Brandon Holt was shot and killed by a 4-year-old friend.
This story has been updated.
Clarification: The story has been changed to clarify the way in which William Wyatt left his gun unattended.