An 8-year-old boy has died after being accidentally shot in the chest with a shotgun by his 10-year-old brother while home alone in their family apartment in Houston.
The unnamed child had only moved to Houston from Venezuela a few months ago. The 8-year-old was playing with his older brother, 10, in the only bedroom of the property when the gun went off, fatally striking him in the chest.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed the deadly incident took place at approximately 3pm on Monday at the Bear Creek Apartments in the 5500 block of Timber Creek Place while the child's parents were not at home.
Mr Gonzalez said: "These situations are preventable. Children should never have access to weapons. Anything could happen.
"We've talked in the past about the importance of safe storage, securing weapons, and responsible gun ownership. This appears to be a tragic situation of what could happen when that doesn't occur. "Our condolences go out to the family. They're extremely devastated by what has occurred here this afternoon."
Officers are investigating into who owned the shotgun and whether one of the siblings loaded the gun, or if it was left in the property already loaded.
Sheriff Gonzalez confirmed the possibility of charges being filed against the parents.
Neighbour Kendra Davis, told Click2Houston: "As a parent, no one should ever have to go through that.
"It's horrible that this is happening on a daily basis. Something needs to be done. It's out of control."