TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A 4-year-old child who brought a gun outside his home shot and seriously wounded a 6-year-old neighbor when the weapon somehow discharged as they played together, authorities said Tuesday.
The child got the .22-caliber rifle from inside his home in Toms River in southern New Jersey and it discharged accidently around 6:40 p.m. Monday, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said during a news conference. The wounded child was about 15 yards away from the younger one at the time.
The younger child’s mother then called 911 to report the shooting, Coronato said.
The wounded child was shot in the head and hospitalized in serious condition, and further details on his injuries were not disclosed. The younger child was not hurt.
Coronato declined to provide specific details on the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation, and said it was “too early” to know whether anyone would be charged in the case. He would not say who owned the gun or speculate on how the 4-year-old got the weapon.
Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy called the shooting a “tragic incident” that has affected the whole community.
“Right now, we’re keeping this child in our prayers, and I ask everyone to do the same,” he said.
The shooting occurred in what neighbors say is a quiet residential area of the Ocean County community, at a home near the edge of a cul-de-sac.
“I’m sad for the children involved and their families, but I’m angry with whoever owns that gun and allowed a little child to get hold of it. A 4-year-old can’t load a gun,” said Debi Coto, who lives a few doors down from where the shooting occurred. She said the families of the two children involved had not lived in the neighborhood for too long, and she did not know them well.
Coto said she was home when the shooting occurred but did not hear the gunshot. She said it initially wasn’t clear what had happened, but then neighbors saw police bring out the gun.
“I had just been telling my sister how nice it is to see kids playing together and enjoying themselves, and then this happens,” she said.
Coto said the 4-year-old’s mother seemed “very upset” about what had happened and appeared to be trying to determine what had happened.
The shooting came just days after a 4-year-old boy in Tennessee grabbed a loaded gun at a family cookout and accidentally shot and killed the wife of a sheriff’s deputy.
Investigators said Wilson County Deputy Daniel Fanning was showing his weapons to a relative in a bedroom of his Lebanon home on Saturday when the boy came in and picked up a gun off the bed. Sheriff Robert Bryan said the weapon discharged, hitting 48-year-old Josephine Fanning, who died at the scene.
The accidents happened amid debate over gun control laws in the wake of December’s Connecticut school massacre.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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