TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kentucky boy, 5, fires 'my first rifle,' killing his toddler sister

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
 

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.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Planned Parenthood recordings release halted by judge
  2. Suspect in South Carolina church shooting wants to plead guilty to hate crimes, attorney says
  3. Baltimore slayings climb to level unseen in decades
  4. Amid 4-year drought, fears rise of trees dying, falling in California
  5. Fires’ fury unabated in California
  6. Despite U.S. dollars and bombs, effort failing to squash ISIS
  7. Global lion population falling primarily because of loss of habitat, experts say
  8. Analysts expect French laboratory will be able to provide details from examination of jet part
  9. Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
  10. Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges
  11. Family finds $1M gold treasure in Florida