| Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014
A 5-year-old boy who found a gun in his home appears to have accidentally shot and killed himself, a source within the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday on the condition of anonymity.
The incident happened at 5:21 p.m. Tuesday in the 31000 block of Wolfskill Avenue in the rural Nuevo area of Riverside County, officials said.
"In this area, when something like this happens, it impacts the entire community," one Nuevo resident said of the tight-knit area.
Detectives and forensics investigators spent nearly a full 24 hours in rural Riverside County trying to determind whether any foul play or negligence was involved in his death.
The boy's grandfather was in the home at the time of the shooting and was being questioned Wednesday afternoon, but a Riverside County sheriff's official told NBC4 Wednesday morning the boy appears to have accidentally shot himself in the home.
Mom at Home When 11-Year-Old Daughter Shot, Killed: Police
Police say a 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 11-year-old sister in their Philadelphia home while their mother was just down the hall in the bathroom.
Investigators say 11-year-old Jamara Stevens was killed when she and her three siblings, a 14-year-old boy, 7-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy, were playing with a .357 caliber handgun with an 8-inch barrel in their Mantuna home on the 3800 block of Wallace Street just before 10 a.m. Saturday.
Tiffany Goldwire and her four children were in her bedroom, when she went to use the bathroom, according to police.
At that point, the kids located the loaded firearm, which was left on top of the refrigerator by the mother's boyfriend who visited the home earlier that morning, and the eldest child retrieved it, according to reports.
While playing with the weapon, the 2-year-old boy pointed the loaded, cocked gun in the direction of his 11-year-old sister and it discharged, striking her in the arm, according to authorities.
Investigators say the bullet then traveled through her chest, hitting her heart.
The girl was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m.
The surviving children and Goldwire were taken to police headquarters, where the mother was questioned for nearly five hours, according to reports.
After the family members were interviewed, investigators swiped them for evidence.
Sources tell NBC10 authorities determined the 2-year-old boy pulled the trigger because his arm had traces of gun powder and a burn from the blast.
Police say this is not the first time they have been to the Mantua home and that Goldwire is not cooperating with the investigation.
Detectives say they are trying to figure out who owned the handgun, which they found on Goldwire's bed.
After the shooting occurred, neighbors and relatives could be seen visibly upset outside of the Mantua home as members of CeaseFire arrived in the neighborhood to post signs calling for an end to shootings.
No charges have been filed as homicide detectives continue to investigate.
Two children shot in less than a week
ST. LOUIS - Two 11-year-olds have been shot in the City of St. Louis in less than a week, and Police Chief Sam Dotson says parents have to be more responsible for their children.
Some child advocates who say it's not just the parents fault.
"These two children did absolutely nothing wrong," said Chief Dotson.
Last week 11-year-old Antonio Johnson was killed from gunfire while he sitting inside his home.
Early Tuesday morning an 11-year-old girl and her father were both shot in the backwhen they left a White Castle drive thru at 3 a.m. They remain in critical condition and police say the two incidents are unrelated.
"Their parents who are responsible for protecting them really put them in situations where they weren't protected," said Chief Dotson.
Dr. Jerry Dunn, with Children's Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis at UMSL, says all the blame shouldn't be put on the parents.
"It's up as a community that really must come together and take the responsibility to watch after these children," she said.
St. Louis police are still putting the pieces together on both shootings and still looking for suspects.
Mother of two, Diane Peterson says there is no perfect parent.
"We make the best choices we can as parents and things happen that are outside of our control," said Peterson.
Dunn says in today's world it's a shame parents have to be more vigilant now than ever.
"We have parents who have to think about I have to protect my child or how will I protect my child from gunshots," said Dunn.
Chief Dotson says he is not only blaming the parents in these situations, but the fact that guns are getting into the hands of the wrong people.
Teenage Girl Killed in Mountain View Morning Shooting
A teenage girl is dead Tuesday after being critically injured in an early-morning shooting inside a Mountain View home.
The girl's grandmother, Dana Sweatt, confirmed to Channel 2 that 15-year-old Precious Alex died after an unknown gunman opened fire through the window of a basement apartment around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"She's dead," Sweatt cried. "She's only 15 years old!"
Sweatt described her granddaughter as an honor roll student who was planning to return with her to Fairbanks in the coming months. She was in town to take her high school exit exam. Sweatt said she was a student at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks.
Sweatt said Alex was shot in her side in a room full of family members.
"Senseless," she said, shaking her head as she cried. "Senseless. Senseless."
Anchorage police responded to the shooting at 633 North Flower Street, near the intersection of N. Flower and Parsons Ave.
At least five bullet holes were visible through the apartment's window. The grandmother said the apartment belonged to Alex's mother.
Alex was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, but at 8:52 a.m. police said she had died. Her family has been notified.
Police had the entrance to the basement apartment taped off as they investigated the scene.
APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro confirmed that "multiple witnesses (were) in custody" following the shooting.
No information was available as to a possible suspect or motive.
For Sweatt, it was the second time she had lost a child in her family in the last year.
"Just last June I buried my niece," she sobbed, breathless. "Citari Townes-Sweatt ... and now I'm going to bury my granddaughter."
Townes-Sweatt was 20 years old when she was killed by an alleged drunk driver in June 2013. JBER airman Lane Douglas Wyatt, 22, has been arrested in connection with her death.
KTUU's Corey Allen-Young contributed to this story.
This is a developing story. Watch Channel 2 broadcasts and check KTUU.com for updates.