Kentucky boy, 5, fires 'my first rifle,' killing his toddler sister
BURKESVILLE, Ky. — A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister to death in rural southern Kentucky with a rifle he had received as a gift last year, authorities said.
The children's mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped out to the front porch for a few minutes and “she heard the gun go off,” Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it.
White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the boy received the .22-caliber rifle as a gift.
“It's a Crickett,” White said, referring to a company that specifically makes guns, clothes and books for children. “It's a little rifle for a kid. ... The little boy's used to shooting the little gun.”
The shooting, while accidental, highlights a cultural divide in the gun debate. While many suburban and urban areas work to keep guns out of the hands of children, it's not uncommon for youths in rural areas to own guns for target practice and hunting.
“Down in Kentucky where we're from, you know, guns are passed down from generation to generation. You start at a young age with guns for hunting and everything,” White said Wednesday. What is more unusual than a child having a gun, he said, is “that a kid would get shot with it.”
“Accidents happen with guns. They thought the gun was actually unloaded, and it wasn't,” the coroner said.
White said the girl died of a single gunshot in the chest area.
The company that made the gun, Milton, Pa.-based Keystone Sporting Arms, produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles in 2008, according to its website. It also makes guns for adults, but most of its products are geared toward children. The smaller guns come in all sorts of colors, including blue and pink.
The company's slogan is “my first rifle.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NASA expected to hire private rocket
- Navy boots 34 in cheating scandal
- Missouri governor declares emergency, imposes curfew in Ferguson
- Accused New York couple looked to victimize more children, sheriff says
- Scathing report says college trustees fail in mission
- NRA’s ad campaign targets Bloomberg’s push to unify advocates of gun control
- Utah woman gets 5 years in baby sitter’s overdose death
- White House ricochets in nonprofits’ birth control coverage fray
- Charities reconsider fundraising activities