3-year-old fatally shot in car after 5-year-old finds gun, North Carolina cops say

Getty Images/iStockphoto

A toddler was killed after his 5-year-old brother got a hold of a gun inside the family’s car, police in North Carolina say.

Deputies arrived Thursday, Aug. 31, after reports a child had been shot at a home in Statesville, according to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

There they found a neighbor performing CPR on a 3-year-old.

Investigators determined the victim’s 5-year-old brother found a loaded gun in a vehicle, deputies said in a news release. Authorities didn’t say who owned the gun.

Emergency responders continued life-saving efforts on the boy before he was flown to a hospital in Winston-Salem, deputies said. He died later that evening.

“Please remember this family, along with all of the first responders who were at the scene and hospital, and keep them in your prayers in the coming days,” Sheriff Darren Campbell said in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page.

Deputies didn’t release additional details but said the shooting is under investigation.

Gun violence in U.S.

Thousands of people die from gun-related injuries in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Firearm injuries are a serious public health problem,” officials said. “In 2020, there were 45,222 firearm-related deaths in the United States – that’s about 124 people dying from a firearm-related injury each day.”

Gun injuries were among the top leading causes of death for people ages 1 to 44 in 2020, the CDC reported. Public health experts say the impact reaches far beyond victims and their families.

“Shooting incidents, including those in homes, schools, houses of worship, workplaces, shopping areas, on the street or at community events can affect the sense of safety and security of entire communities and impact everyday decisions,” the agency said.

Statesville is about 40 miles north of Charlotte.

Road rage shooting left 6-year-old girl paralyzed, Kentucky cops say. Two now arrested

Man shoots and kills pregnant girlfriend when she refuses abortion, Florida cops say

Woman shoots 4-year-old in chest, says she was teaching gun safety, TN officials say