By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police are investigating after an apparent accidental shooting in St. Cloud left a 5-year-old boy dead.

It happened just after 3 p.m. Friday on the 800 block of 10th Avenue North. Police arrested a 35-year-old Chicago man, who authorities say is a felon who was in possession of a stolen firearm, and was negligent in storing the weapon. He is in the Stearns County Jail.

Megan Walsh is the lead volunteer for the Be SMART campaign in Minnesota, created by the gun violence prevention organization Moms Demand Action.

“It’s always devastating to hear about the loss of any child, and even more so when it’s a situation where this could have been prevented with secure storage of a firearm,” Walsh said. “This happens more than we ever want to know. Approximately 350 children under the age of 18 … are able to access a loaded firearm and discharge it unintentionally, and either harm themselves or another person.”

She says gun safety advocates are pushing for safe storage and background check laws in Minnesota and across the country.

“We don’t want a single child to die, especially when it’s preventable,” Walsh said.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension helped process the scene, police say. The shooting remains under investigation.

Kate Raddatz

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