Child Fatally Shot in Independence

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence Police confirm a pre-school aged child suffered a gunshot wound and died from the injuries Saturday afternoon in the area of  East 20th Street and South Norwood Ave. in Independence.

It happened at about 3:30 p.m. A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified told FOX 4 she heard a popping sound, similar to a firecracker. Then she says a woman came running out of her home, on the phone with a 911 operator. The neighbor says she heard the woman talking frantically, saying her son was dying and that her husband had accidentally shot him.

“I got goose bumps,” said another neighbor, Sierra Battles. “I mean it was crazy. Like I said, I only met her once and it’s right up the street, so it’s crazy.”

Police say the boy was three years old.

Neighbors say another child, a two-year old, also lives in the home.

“My prayers are definitely with them and it really sucks when stuff like this happens,” Battles said.

Independence Police Capt. Ed Turner said the shooting has not yet been ruled an accident, but police have not made any arrests either. He says everyone they are interviewing is cooperating.

Late Saturday evening, the child’s mother returned to the home. She was visibly distraught and did not want to talk on camera, but said she wanted to clear up that her husband did not shoot their son. She told reporters- You can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child this way.

“I would encourage everyone that owns a weapon to keep it secured and locked up, so that it is out of the hands of those that don’t need to have it,” Turner said.

A woman who said she is a friend of the husband’s parents arrived on the scene. Although she believes it was an accident, there are questions she is wondering about.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘Why would they have a gun around a three-year-old?”

FOX 4 will continue to update this story, as more information becomes available.

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