Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 2-year-old Minneapolis boy is dead after police say his older brother accidentally shot him.
It happened inside the family’s townhome on 7th Street near Cedar Avenue just before 1 p.m. Wednesday. Both of the boy’s parents were home at the time. Paramedics tried to revive 2-year-old Neegnco Xiong, but he died before getting to the hospital.
Police said the boy’s 4-year old brother was playing with a loaded handgun in an upstairs bedroom in the family’s home when the gun accidentally went off. Police say the boys were home with their parents at the time along with their 1-year-old brother.
The oldest of the family’s four children, a 5-year-old, was at school. The boys’ uncle said his brother bought the handgun eight years ago for safety and usually kept it in a closet up high and out of reach of the kids, so he can’t imagine how the 4-year-old got ahold of it.
“It’s just tragic. It’s tragic all the way around that I saw this boy alive this morning playing, and now he’s gone,” said said Michelle Prestegard, a neighbor of the family.
The family’s three other children are now all in protective custody. The boy’s parents were questioned by police and are now home. The 4-year-old cannot be charged, but investigators are looking into the parents.
State law does say it’s a crime to have a loaded gun in a home where children have access to it, but whether the parents will be charged with anything is will be up to the Hennepin County Attorney. Police said this appears to be a terrible accident.