In the words of the local coroner, “It was just one of those crazy accidents.”
A crazy accident in which a 5-year-old in Burkesville, Kentucky, accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a .22-caliber rifle.
But unlike many such tragedies, the rifle in this case actually belonged to the 5-year-old boy.
“It’s a Crickett,” said Cumberland County Coroner Gary White. “It’s a little rifle for a kid … The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun.”
According to news reports the bolt-action rifle was accidentally left loaded with a single shell in a corner of the family’s home. The boy was playing with the presumably empty gun when it discharged.
The 2-year-old, Caroline Starks, was taken to Cumberland County Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday, though White says the shooting will likely be ruled accidental.
White also told the local news station that the children’s mother was home when the shooting occurred: “She was actually cleaning, and she had went out on the porch. She said no more than three minutes had went by and she actually heard the rifle go off. She ran back in and found the little girl.”
The death comes in the wake of two other incidents in recent months involving young children shooting others. In early April, a 4-year-old boy in Tennessee shot and killed a 48-year-old woman, and just days later, 6-year-old Brandon Holt was killed in New Jersey after being shot in the head by his 4-year-old playmate.
My First Rifle
The .22-caliber rifle used in the accident is known as a Crickett, manufactured by Keystone Sporting Arms of Miltown, PA. KSA markets its weapons to youths and children under the slogan, “My First Rifle.”
The 5-year-old boy had received the rifle as a gift last year.
Crickett’s web site states, “The goal of KSA is to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve.”
Testimonials from the site would seem to agree.
“I recently purchased one of your Davey Crickett rifles (My First Rifle) from my 7 yr. old daughter and I would like to say that i have nothing but positive things to say about it.”
“Thank you for supporting the next generation of recreational shooters. My 4 1/2 year old daughter thought the “pink one” was far superior to a black synthetic stock,who am i to argue?”
“Instead we bought a pink Crickett from my six year old daughter and wanted to say thanks for making quality affordable firearms for new shooters.”
The NRA has also been active in working to train and engage the “next generation” of shooters.
KSA has yet to respond to a request for a statement.
CDC firearm accident data indicated that the number of children killed in accidental shootings increased from 68 in 2009 to 84 in 2010, reversing a 20-year decline. There were 851 accidental gun deaths of all ages in 2011, up from 606 the previous year.
Gun ownership had been in a generation-long decline, but the recent increase in sales and ownership numbers seems to have brought with it an increase in firearm accidents.
- No charges expected in death of 2-year-old who was shot by brother, 5
- Four Decade Decline In Gun Ownership?
- Keystone Sporting Arms
- Boy, 5, Kills Sister with Gift Rifle (drudge.com)