ELMO, Mo. – According to the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office, the nine-month-old baby boy was shot around 9 a.m., by his five-year-old brother. They were at their home in Elmo, Missouri, which is just south of the Iowa border.
The mother originally said that her older son shot the infant in the head with a paintball gun, according to law enforcement. But after an ambulance and law enforcement were dispatched to the location, it was determined the infant had been shot in the head with a .22 caliber magnum revolver.
The loaded gun had been kept on a shelf built into the headboard of the master bed, said Nodaway County Sheriff, Darren White. The infant was in its crib in that room, and law enforcement found the gun nearby.
The infant was air-lifted to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.
Gun safety expert Don Pind, of Professional Firearms Consultants, spoke with WDAF and said there is no reason any child should have access to a gun. He said that there are so many cheap and easy options for keeping firearms safe in the home, that it’s the parent’s responsibility when a tragedy like this happens.
“But the parents need to keep them away from it; lock them up, whether it be in a gun sock… padlocks are available free from the police and sheriffs’ offices,” said Pind, who demonstrated putting a padlock though the barrel of a handgun.
Next door neighbor and friend of the family, Kathy Armentrout said four brothers live in the house, including the baby who was killed. She grabbed the three children, who she said are ages five, three and one-and-a-half, and brought them to her house.
“They’re a very good family and this was a tragedy. It’s a sad deal. I just hope everybody prays for them,” she said.
A prosecutor will assemble a child fatality review board, made up of law enforcement, children’s services and hospital personnel to help him determine of charges will be filed against the parents in this case, reported WDAF.