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Five-Year-Old Shooter Kills Two-Year-Old Sister With ‘My First Rifle’

five year old shooter, my first rifle

A 5-year-old boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a .22 caliber Crickett gun in Cumberland County, Kentucky. In a sad twist of events, the Crickett® brand of youth rifles are marketed as “My First Rifle.” They are intended to be used to teach children early how to handle weapons properly and use them with respect.

The boy reportedly received the rifle as a gift for his last birthday. It was kept in a corner, and the family didn’t know that it still had a shell in it.

The accident happened around 1 pm on Tuesday afternoon when the mother reportedly stepped out of sight for a moment to do some cleaning. Caroline Starks, age 2, was ruled dead on arrival at the Cumberland County Hospital.

Cumberland County Coroner Gary White will be performing the autopsy today, but he already told local media that he will rule the death as accidental. “Just one of those crazy accidents,” he said.

Seems like there have been a lot of accidents lately. In April, the 4-year-olds of America went on a shooting spree. A New Jersey 4-year-old killed his 6-year-old friend, also with a .22 caliber rifle. The day before, a Tennessee 4-year-old shot and killed a deputy’s wife, with one of the deputy’s own firearms.

The sheriff’s deputy said then that he wouldn’t be pressing charges against the gun’s owner, explaining, “Nobody is immune to this – nobody. It doesn’t matter if you are a law enforcement officer. These things can happen in seconds.”

While he may have a point, I’m going to admit that I’m not necessarily as forgiving. To my mind, the Davey Crickett youth rifle is a real weapon that must be used with respect to teach kids how to shoot. It cannot and should not be handled carelessly like a stuffed toy that can be kicked into an idle corner.

“A 22 is deadly at the longer distances,” said You Tuber Iraqveteran8888, who posted this video to demonstrate:

What do you think about the “My First Rifle” five-year-old shooting accident?

[air rifle photo by ppart via Shutterstock]

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40 Responses to “Five-Year-Old Shooter Kills Two-Year-Old Sister With ‘My First Rifle’”

  1. Diana Grazia

    NO.. a five year old has yet to learn about real responsibilty; however for the parents to allow the gun to be left in a corner was insane. They should known better.

  2. Stacy Schroeder

    Carelessness by adults in properly emptying and storing weapons! A child thinks of life like Wile. E Coyote and road runner… they don't understand death! Those parents should be held accountable for sticking a gun in a corner. It should have been locked up teaching the child proper storage of a weapon is just as important as proper usage!

  3. Janey Shaddrick

    Honestly, I think adult carelessness is the problem in a lot of shootings. It's about time they are held responsible…

  4. James Wendell Chenault

    I had a BB gun at 5 but only got to shoot when my Dad was around. Started hunting at 6 with a single shot .410. My parents were responsible and did not leave guns laying around and taught us responsibility.

  5. David Serventi

    Elaine, so what? He was too young to comprehend the danger and the parents are clearly NOT in the so called responsible gun owner category as they left a loaded gun where a child could get at it.

  6. Sue Smith

    they should be allowed to own one but with anything dangerous it should be under lock and key. the only time it should be used is when a responsible adult is with them. this way they can learn safety and responsibility. my son had a shotgun at 5 but it was locked up until he was with his dad. it is the parents fault for not having it locked up even if they thought it had no shell in it.

  7. Cynthia MacDonald Phillips

    Guns in a home with children of any age should be locked up. and not loaded. As a single mom I know how fast things can happen and you can't keep an eye on a kid every single minute. The child should only be allowed the gun if the parent is right there and actually teaching him /her how to use it.

  8. Traci Kelly

    a 5 yr old shouldnt have a real gun wait til they pass a safety test which is done @12. Too give a 5 yr old a real gun and to leave him alone with it and to have it filled with bullets its not very smart at all. Sad parents lost a child over a preventable tragedy

  9. Bernadette Elizabeth

    "The four year olds of America went on a shooting spree?" Really? That's a horrible statement… these kids will have to live the rest of their lives with the guilt of killing someone. Its not like any of these kids were or are maniacal killers!~ the problem is adults being too irresponsible with guns in the house.

  10. Debbie Pries

    This did not have to happen. A five year old has no business having a gun. The mother needs to be arrested for negligence atleast. You shouldn't have a weapon until you have completed a hunter safety course and passed. This five year old as no clue of the responsibility of gun ownership. I wouldn't charge the child. I would charge the parents for being so irresponsible and negligent.

  11. Susan Bloxham Morisset

    OMG!!!!! The American right to "bear arms" is the cause of this senseless "accident". The more guns the more killings. Check out the statistics in the rest of the western world and see the difference

  12. M Marie McVey

    Nobody taught the kid to NOT point a gun at anyone, even if it isn't loaded, and to keep his trigger finger off the trigger unless he is aiming to shoot? A tragic accident, which could have been prevented through education and discipline. The parents will regret and grieve this for the rest of their lives, and so will the boy. Heartbreaking lesson learned with lifetime repercussions–arrest and jail for the parents and foster care/detention for the boy would destroy them–they've paid the price on their own. NO regulation or law or punishment will change this, or prevent it. Only education and discipline.

  13. George Kafantaris

    Gun owners and their family members are often the first victims of guns.
    When will they realize this is too dear a price to pay for having these weapons around.

  14. M Marie McVey

    Don't you think they've already received the ultimate punishment, the death of their 2 year old daughter whom they dearly loved? Do you really think they won't have learned from this without putting the label of child endangerers on them for the rest of their lives, and taking their boy away from them? They are paying the price already, and there won't be a day in their lives that they'll ever get over the loss of their littlest, nor will they ever stop blaming themselves for it.

  15. Alan Jackson

    IRRESPONSIBLE IDIOT parents that give a 5 year old a gun just laying in the corner where he can just grab it whenever he wants….yep parents should be charged with SOMETHING and at least have there gun rights terminated.

  16. Lee Ann

    Guns are guns. You never store your hunting gun loaded and you treat evey gun as if it is loaded. I cannot think of anyone that was a responsible enough 5 yr old to never act out in anger or have a tantrum, so he was not old enough to truly understand the consequences.

  17. Wendy Osterhout

    The person or people responsible for the children should also be responsible for the weapons… I am all for teaching our kids how to use a firearm but proper storage and maintance of them is imperative!!!

  18. Darla Renee Nicholas

    Really? Cant even believe this question is being asked! Should '5 year own a gun? I have a 5 year old, and he incapable of remembering to pick his toys and cloths up off the floor. A gun? What are these idiot parents.thinking? Oh wait their not!

  19. Jeri Kirby

    You are wrong. This accident could have been avoided if the parents had put the gun up and explained to the child that he got to use it only with an adult around him. It was the parents responsiblility to make sure the gun was unloaded and put up so the child could not get it.

  20. Desiree Taylor

    No matter the type of gun it was, they should of used proper precaution with it..handled it the exact way you would hold a gun for an adult..It should of NEVER just been sitting in a corner like that.

  21. Jill Brounstein

    I can imagine the grief that the parents feel – but I STILL say they should be charged for child endangerment What a ridiculous and tragic thing to put a gun' in the corner' of their home. Not checking to be sure there were NO bullets in the chamber? Look what happened to that precious little 2 year old.

  22. Jill Brounstein

    Jeri – the boy is only 5 years old. In your statement you are saying that it's okay for him to use the rifle with an adult – but he is WAY to young to handle one. I don't care HOW many adults are around. I am appalled with what these parents were thinking!!

  23. Deborah Hoff

    It's what I call..PPP..or P#$$ Poor Parenting.

  24. Carol Medeiros

    Parents made a tragic mistake…. car keys, knives, poisonous substances, buckets of water, swimming pools, medicine, matches, gas appliances, electrical sockets, ropes, tools, items that can cause choking, etc. – all are dangerous…. This family will remember this tragedy every day…. how sad….

  25. Mike McGarry

    Clearly there is no IQ test included in the background checks.

  26. Patrick McGarry

    This is ridiculous. A rifle marketed to children. Stop the madness.

  27. Helen Kennington

    That poor little boy… There is so much in the news about this sort of accidents. Why would anyone be that clueless and leave a gun where a kid of ANY AGE could get it?

  28. Ann Johnston Avery

    what are these people thinking access of a gun for young children should be a criminal offense and do not think I am against guns I am not my Dad had guns to hunt with the only time we saw them was at hunting time never did know where they were kept it is sad that the loud mouth nutty minority fringe is getting most of the media coverage.

  29. LaShaunda Hersey

    I am all for people being able to own guns to protect themselves, but I am so tired of hearing about children accidentally killing other people or themselves because parents are careless. This poor boy now has to live with the fact that he killed his sister for the rest of his life and it's all because his parents were careless and left a loaded gun in a corner. If you're not going to be a responsible gun owner, you shouldn't own a gun. Too many kids have access to loaded guns and it's not ending well. The gun is meant to show kids how to probably handle and respect a gun and understand that it's not a toy, but obviously that didn't work with this kid because if he respected the gun, he wouldn't have been playing with it in the first place, but I guess when your parents don't teach you properly, this is what happens.

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