5-Year-Old Boy Fatally Shoots 7-Year-Old Girl at Birthday Party

It's sad that my first thought here is: Wow, I can't believe this happened AGAIN. But it has. A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a 7-year-old girl at a birthday party that took place over the weekend in South Carolina. The child had received permission from his mother to retrieve a toy gun from the trunk of their car. She reportedly didn't know her boyfriend's loaded real gun was also in the vehicle. The boy touched the trigger of the real gun while it was still in the trunk, according to reports, which caused it to fire a bullet that ripped through the car and hit little Juliet Lynch in the chest.

This horrific accident also resulted in the injury of a second child -- a 5-year-old boy who was hit in the arm by bullet fragments. Both children were rushed to the hospital, and Juliet was declared dead shortly thereafter. The boy is expected to recover.

More from The Stir: 8-Year-Old Boy Shot & Killed by Brother in Accidental Shooting

How absolutely senseless is this? A happy event turned into a nightmare in a matter of seconds and a mother lost her precious child all because of an adult who should have known better than to leave a loaded gun in a place that could be accessed by a child.

Incidents like these should make us gasp -- they shouldn't make us shake our heads and wonder where we've heard this before. But the truth is we hear about young children messing around with loaded guns all too often.

Around this time last year, a 5-year-old boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a rifle while his mother cleaned their house. And just a few weeks ago, an 8-year-old boy was killed by his brother, who got his hands on a loaded handgun that he thought was a BB gun.

So, what's the solution here? Do we ban toy guns and make it perfectly clear to children that weapons are not play things? I'm not entirely on board with that; I feel the actual problem here is with the adults who need to open their eyes and be more aware of the potential dangers associated with owning guns. A responsible gun owner does not leave a loaded gun anywhere within the reach of a child. Case closed.

What do you feel should be done to make sure children aren't hurt by guns?


Image via Eliot Phillips/Flickr

accidents, crime, death, guns, in the news


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the4m... the4mutts

While I agree that the adults are at fault in most instances, and PARTLY at fault here.... How is the trunk of a vehicle somewhere a child typically has access to?

The fault I see with the parents in this case, isn't where the gun was, it was them not teaching the child what a real gun looks like, telling them to never, ever handle it without supervision, and not teaching the child to tell them if they come across a gun on accident.

I don't know that there was much that could have prevented this tragedy though. Even if they did all those things, there is nothing to say that the little boy wouldn't have grabbed it anyway, in his excitement.

The only question I have, is HOW DID THEY NOT KNOW WHERE THE GUN WAS? I own firearms. I do not lose track of them. If they have been in my trunk because I had gone to the range, I do not forget. I take them out and properly store them as soon as I get home.

My kids have never just happened upon one of mine. I know where they are 100% of the time, and if my kids will be near them, I go with my kids to get whatever they're wanting that is in the vicinity of my guns.

When we go to the mountains, there is no gun safe. We keep all the guns under the couch, in a lock box. If the kids are even getting shoes from near the couch, I watch them and remind them to leave the box alone.

I just don't see how you wouldn't know where a deadly weapon is 100% of the time.

Christene Jaramillo

The gun owner is 100% responsible for this tragedy.  There is no reason a gun should have been left loaded.  Period.  A gun should never be loaded unless it is in your hand ready for use.  This wasn't an accident, it was negligence. 

What should be done to protect children?  Those who own a gun and are negligent, should be held accountable for damages caused by their carelessness.  I believe that you have the right to own firearms, however its a right the comes with responsibilities.  Just because you have the right to own something, doesn't give you the right to act irresponsibly about it.  I have the right to own a car, I don't however have the right to drive on the wrong side of the road, or park my car in the middle of the street.  I have the right to own a car, but a responsibility to follow common sense, and laws.  Same goes for guns. 

If you own a gun... if left unattended, it should be locked away and unloaded.  NEVER leave an unatteneded gun loaded!! 

Krishna Gupta

What is more, productivity and efficiency may be at stake when employees with false credentials are hired, but an even bigger concern is unscrupulous elements getting their foot in the door to commit data theft or cyber crimes.

pippi311 pippi311

I just don't know what is wrong with people. Time after time these kinds of accidents keep happening and they are 100% avoidable. It is becoming obvious to me that people in general cannot be trusted to be responsible gun owners. I'm sure some are, but the ones who are irresponsible and negligent overshadow them all because the consequences are so severe. We can't keep letting this happen to children, there has to be a way to stop this, I wish there was an obvious solution. You can't dare talk about gun control in this country without people freaking out thinking you are going to take all their rights away and put them in concentration camps.

SoJaided SoJaided

Ugh, I live in South Carolina and saw this on the news this morning. It's just horrible and this happens far to often.

.anon... .anonymous

Um, idiots shouldn't have guns if they can't carry or store them safely. But you can't do a background check for potential stupidity/negligence, unfortunately. This makes me so angry. People who own guns, and even those who do not, should also teach children they're around/their kids about gun safety - IF they even know it, themselves. People who don't, and or misuse guns, give responsible gun owners a bad name. It breaks my heart to hear about kids shooting other kids, and kids dying, because of the adult's stupidity and carelessness.

nonmember avatar Jeffery Hemmer

Both adults are 100% at fault. First off there's no excuse for a gun to be loaded and chambered in the trunk it serves no purpose and is a completely useless hazard there's no argument for a need because you can't defend yourself with it from there. Second as a parent its your responsibility to know your child's surroundings. Third you cannot protect your child at every moment so your child needs to know how to properly handle that situation and you as an adult should go out of your way to provent that situation because children don't always act accordingly. I support my second amendment and i don't want anyone to take this otherwise but now you have one dead child and two traumatized because one failed basic gun safety and another failed as a parent to protect them outs senseless

nonmember avatar sa

Its also heartbreaking to know that when the kids is older he would have to.live with the burden of knowing he killed his sister. (By accident of course)

Denise Volcek

Ban the toy guns. It would be best not to even teach the kids there is a difference. Someone can be shot just because they have a toy gun that looks real!

Kathrynn Sparks

I am all for gun rights, I'm also all for holding gun owners responsible for controlling their guns. Owner should be prosecuted and serve time, plus lose their gun ownership rights for life in a case like this!! There is no excuse.

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