Little Boy Shoots Sister Accidentally - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Little Boy Shoots Sister Accidentally

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WEST OAK LANE -


An extremely close call Thursday for an 8-year-old girl, shot in the arm by her little brother.

If you're the parent of young children, you know-- all it takes is a minute.  The children were upstairs in their grandparents' home in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia, the adults downstairs, when a boy too clever for his own good found a box, locked and stored away in a bedroom closet.

"The key was in a separate location, and the seven-year-old finds the key and goes in and opens it up, and finds the gun and starts playing with it, and shows it to the sister," explained Lt.. George McClay of the Philadelphia Police Department.

That's when their grandparents heard the gun go off, and went racing upstairs.  They found the boy's eight-year-old sister, her right arm bleeding.  Her little brother had accidentally shot her.  "The kid's very shook up," Lt.. McClay said.  "You can definitely see, he's sad, he's not happy with what he did, and he knows he did something wrong."

The children and two other siblings live with their grandparents, who have custody.  Neighbors describe the 62-year-old grandfather, who owns the gun, as doting and protective.  "Very protective, he's very protective of his grandkids." Georgetta Simmons said of her longtime neighbor.  "If he's on the step, they're outside."  Simmons added, "He takes very good care of them."

The boy, his grandfather, and five other family members were all questioned by detectives.  Police say the grandfather did just about everything right. "He had the clip and the gun taken apart inside the lock box, and it was locked.  So you can't blame the grandfather for what happened this morning," Lt.. McClay insisted.  "You had a seven-year-old kid who was just very curious."  Despite all the precautions, police say there is one thing the grandfather could have done differently:  if he had an electronic lock box with a password he memorized, the little boy would not have had access to a key.

Police executed a search warrant late Thursday afternoon on the home, as a matter of routine.  They'll examine the gun, but do not expect to file any charges.  They say the grandfather did have the gun registered.  The girl is spending the night at the hospital, but is expected to be okay.

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