Nine-year-old Kimberly Reylander was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon by her 3-year-old brother, who found a loaded pistol on the bedroom nightstand at their grandparents’ house in Irondale, Alabama. Via AL.com:
The grandfather had left the loaded gun on the nightstand not knowing his grandchildren were coming over that day, he said.
Atkinson said detectives are interviewing the children’s uncle and grandmother who were home at the time of the shooting to learn exactly what happened.
“The lesson is you have to make sure those weapons are put up, out of sight and out of reach, really of anyone, but especially children,” he said. “It is tragic because this 3-year-old has no idea what is going on right now. It is just a horrible situation.”
Reylander, who was in third grade, was flown to Children’s of Alabama Hospital, where she died of her head injuries. WIAT interviewed the gun-owner Joel Watson, who’s alternately being reported as Reylander’s grandfather and great-grandfather:
“Her grandma was laying the towel on her head and laid down there and started praying, she was praying, I was praying, my wife was screaming and praying. Nobody knows how that feels until you experience it.”
According to the Washington Post, at least four toddlers this year have accidentally fired a gun at themselves, and Reylander is the fifth person to be hurt in a toddler shooting in 2016. In 2015, according to their survey, toddler shootings occurred on a weekly basis for the first 10 months of the year.
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