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A 10-year-old Philadelphia boy fatally shot himself with a gun he found while home alone with his younger sister, police said.
The boy, whose identity was not immediately released, was found inside a North Philadelphia residence at about 6 p.m. Saturday with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. He was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said in a statement.
“Another one of our precious children has died as the result of gunfire,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “As a community, we must strive to do better in keeping guns out of the hands of our kids.”
The boy shot himself after he and his 8-year-old sister found the unattended weapon inside a cabinet in the home. The girl then ran to a neighbor’s home to call cops, NBC Philadelphia reported.
It’s unclear who owned the gun or if it was legally registered, but the boy’s father is cooperating with investigators, according to NBC Philadelphia.
“It is sad,” one neighbor told the station. “We as a society got to get it together.”
No charges had been filed as of early Monday in an ongoing investigation. No further information was available, a police spokesman told The Post.
The shooting is believed to have been accidental, investigators told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Police Capt. Lee Strollo said no adults were home at the time of the deadly gunfire.
“Supposedly, there was a gun inside a cabinet that the children located,” Strollo said. “Very traumatic. Hopefully she’ll get any help that she needs.”
The weapon was “freely accessible” to the youngsters instead of being properly stored in a locked box accessible only to its owner, Strollo told WPVI.
“We’re looking into how the gun got on location and who the owner of the gun is,” Strollo said.
At least 90 children have been shot this year in Philadelphia, including a 3-year-old wounded three times in the leg during a June 19 shooting in West Philadelphia. He survived, but his father and another man were killed, NBC Philadelphia reported earlier this month.
As of Sunday, 267 homicides have been tallied in Philadelphia — an increase of 36 percent from the same period last year, online data shows.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in March the city was mired in an “epidemic” of gun violence and on track to record its “most violent year” after a man working on a video about the city’s surge in shootings was gunned down as he interviewed people whose children were killed by firearms.
A total of 499 people were killed in Philadelphia last year — the highest since 1990, when a record of 500 homicides were tallied.
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