A 4-year-old boy from Brighton remains in critical condition at Children's of Alabama after suffering a gunshot wound to the head Friday afternoon in an accidental shooting.
According to Lt. Ray Hubbart with the Brighton Police Department, the victim and a 4-year-old girl were playing with a handgun inside a bedroom at a home located at 4125 7th Avenue around 4:30 p.m. when the shooting happened. Adults were inside the residence but in another area of the home at the time of the incident.
Investigators are questioning the adults and are trying to determine if the gun was recklessly left out, an act that could warrant charges being filed.
"We don't know if any charges are pending at this time, but an investigation is ongoing." Hubbart reports.
It is unknown at this time how the children gained access to the gun, but Lt. Hubbart urged citizens who own guns to take safety precautions.
"We advise people that are going to keep guns in the house to put a gun lock on it, put it in a secure place and make sure it is unloaded." Hubbart said.
In an effort to avoid another tragic shooting, Lt. Hubbart is offering gun owners free cable-style gun-locking devices to secure their weapons.
"If you have a gun out there and you need something to secure it, come to the Brighton Police Department. We'll get you a gun lock to secure your weapon so this type of tragedy won't happen again." Hubbart said.
As an officer with children of his own, Lt. Hubbart says shootings in general affect police officers' emotions, especially a shooting involving children.
"Anybody getting shot will affect us. We don't want anyone getting shot or hurt." Hubbart said. "But when it comes to little children, it really hits you. I have got children of my own, so it would be devastating. Our hearts go out to the family. We're going to support them the best we can and try to resolve this case for them."
The Brighton shooting happened just three days after a 5-year-old boy in Kentucky accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a .22-caliber rifle given to him as a gift. The mother of the children was cleaning the kitchen when the shooting occurred.