Law enforcement officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding the boy's death.
He was home with his 11-year-old brother when he was shot. According to neighbors, no adults were around when the younger boy found a gun in the pocket of his older brother's jacket. Somehow the gun went off and the bullet struck the 8-year-old in the chest. His brother then ran next door for help.
"I immediately ran over to the house to see how he was doing," said Lasheena Harper, neighbor. "Once I got there, he wasn't breathing. So I asked his brother where he got shot and that's when I rolled him over and I immediately started with CPR."
The boy was taken to a hospital in nearby Harvey where he died.
"It kind of touched me at first because I've seen him grow up. It kind of hurt," said Stephen Rush, neighbor. "It's just unexplainable right now."
Police say the person who owns the gun the boy was shot with failed to secure the weapon and experts say that could have prevented the entire tragedy.
"Someone putting the gun, bringing it in the house, not securing it, illegal weapon, what happens, kids find it and we lose another child," said Andrew Holmes, community activist.
The medical's examiner's office is planning an autopsy for Wednesday though officials say it appears the boy shot himself.
Police have yet to decide whether they will file charges against the owner of the gun.