Boy Fatally Shoots Brother: 6-Yr-Old Playing With Loaded Gun Accidentally Shoots, Kills 4-Yr-Old In New Jersey

A 6-year-old boy fatally shot his younger 4-year-old brother in New Jersey. The child was playing with a loaded gun when the firearm accidentally went off and fatally wounded the boy’s younger sibling, confirmed authorities.

A boy playing with a loaded gun in a New Jersey neighborhood, accidentally fired the weapon, grievously wounding his younger brother. The 4-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital but couldn’t be saved. The mother of the boys, who was in the house at the time of the incident, has been arrested and charged with endangerment.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed the incident involving a family with children living at a Norman Street residence in East Orange. They added the gun was fired late morning at around 11 a.m. Saturday. According to WRAL, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly noted the child was taken to a hospital. Speaking about the incident, East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III said the following

“This is a terribly unfortunate incident. As the victim undergoes emergency surgery, our primary concern is for his well-being and recovery. Our thoughts are with him and his family.”

Fennelly added the mother of the children has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The woman and mother of the victim, identified as 22-year-old Itiyanah Spruill, is now behind bars pending arraignment. Bail was set at $310,000, but it is unlikely she would have the resources to pay. It is not immediately clear if the woman has secured the services of a lawyer.

There’s a weapon’s violation charge involved too, implying there could be some discrepancies about the presence of the weapon or its storage within the home. Experts caution a loaded firearm should never be within easy reach of youngsters and recommend it be stored preferable in a strongbox or safe.

The incident occurred on the front porch of the single-family home. Police investigating the case isn’t sure how the child got hold of the gun and why was it loaded. While the children played, the elder brother pulled the trigger, shooting his younger brother at close range. Neighbors in the vicinity apparently deny hearing any gunshots but admitted they witnessed a lot commotion outside the victim’s house.

The police are treating the incident as an accident wherein a child unintentionally shot his younger brother using a gun. Preliminary investigation has revealed the gun belonged to the mother of the two boys. Many in the vicinity claim they do not know the family and insist they had moved in about six months earlier. The house is a rental, reported CBS Local.

While the details are still emerging, the 6-year-old might have hit his younger brother in the head. Following the gunshot wound, the 4-year-old was put in an ambulance and transported to University Hospital in Newark. Evidently, the doctors there attempted to save the child from what they described as a grievous head wound. However, they were unable to save the poor child’s life. The 4-year-old was declared dead after about four hours, confirmed authorities, reported NBC New York. A spokesperson of the hospital noted the boy did not die during surgery.

Citing the sensitivity of the issue, the boys’ names have been withheld. However, the authorities have managed to find the mother did not officially have the custody of the boys, reported the New York Daily News. The boys’ legal guardian was their grandmother who lived in Union County.

Spruill also had issues with mental health and had been enrolled in a mental health program, added authorities, reported Pix11 News.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]