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A 9-month-old boy is dead in Missouri after his brother, 5, accidentally shot him with a .22 caliber magnum revolver while he lay in his crib.

The 5-year-old found the firearm on a shelf built into the headboard in the master bedroom, according to Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White.

The mother of the two boys and two other siblings were staying in their grandfather’s home in Elmo, Mo. The woman initially told police the infant had been shot with a paintball gun, but police later determined that he was shot in the head with the revolver.

From the Washington Post:

White happened to be near the phone when the children’s mother, Alexis Widerholt, made a frantic call to police just before 9 a.m. on Monday, pleading for help.

“A lady told me that she needed an ambulance. She said her 5-year-old son had shot her 9-month-old in the head with a paintball gun,” White told KMA. “We dispatched an ambulance and law enforcement to the house. It was determined that the 9-month-old had in fact been shot in the head with a .22 caliber magnum revolver.”

Emergency responders rushed the baby to a hospital in Kansas City. He was pronounced dead upon arrival.

In the small, rural town of Elmo where guns are common, the sheriff says the incident is just a tragic, if cautionary, tale.

“We’re big supporters of firearms around here,” White told KETV in Omaha. “We live in a rural area, we have a lot of people that own weapons. They hunt, they target shoot, they do all of those things.”

“And most people are very safe with them and this was just one of those cases where everything went together in the wrong way.”

Although the shooting was ruled an accident, police are still investigating to determine whether the parents should be charged.

SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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