6-year-old accidentally shot, killed by 9-year-old with gun in Florida

ByDeena Zaru ABCNews logo
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
6-year-old fatally shot by 9-year-old with gun in Florida
Jacksonville police are investigating the incident.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 6-year-old boy in Jacksonville, Florida, died after being accidentally shot in the head by a 9-year-old on Monday, according to police.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) said in a statement on Tuesday that the shooting took place at a residence in the Duclay neighborhood at around 2:45 p.m. ET when a child was handling a gun and it accidentally went off, ABC News reported.

The victim, who has not been identified by law enforcement, was transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead, according to JSO.

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JSO Assistant Chief J.D. Stronko, who addressed the shooting in a press conference on Tuesday, said that detectives from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit are investigating.

"The initial investigation determined the two juveniles located inside the residence in the care of an adult," Stronko said. "One of the juveniles was able to obtain a firearm and fired a single shot striking the victim."

"There is no indication of criminal violence being related to this incident. There are no outstanding suspects related to this incident either," Stronko added.

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According to Stronko, an adult was present in the home when the shooting took place.

Asked if the adult was aware that a child was playing with a firearm, Stronko said that the adult was being transported by deputies for questioning.

When asked if the firearm was properly secured and whether investigators have determined how the child was able to get access to it, Stronko said that "we're pretty early in the investigation at this time. Obviously that's an aspect that the detectives will look at."

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ABC News has reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for further comment.

According to a study by the Nationwide Children's Hospital published on June 23, most unintentional firearm fatalities where a child shoots another child involve "firearms that were stored loaded and unlocked."

"These results indicate that children are accessing firearms at a home - often their own home - and many of these firearms are not stored safely, even when there are young children in the home," said Nichole Michaels PhD, an author of the study in a statement on June 23.

The statement added, "When children are killed by another child with a firearm, it has a ripple effect that can impact the well-being of their families, friends, classmates, and communities. In cases like these, it's especially important that we consider the mental health impact of the shooting on the child who unintentionally took the life of another and has to live with the consequences."

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Data for the study was collected from 33 states so it "may not be generalizable to the entire USA," according to NCH.

ABC News' Jason Volack contributed to this report.