ELMO, Mo. – An infant has died after being shot in the head in Northwest Missouri.
According to the Nodaway County Sheriff's Office, the nine-month-old baby boy was shot shortly before nine o’clock Monday morning by his five-year-old brother at their residence, located at 101 S. Scott in Elmo, Missouri, which is just south of the Iowa border.
According to the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office the mother of the two children said her five-year-old son shot her infant in the head with a paintball gun. But after an ambulance and law enforcement were dispatched to the location, it was determined the nine-month-old had been shot in the head with a .22 caliber magnum revolver.
Nodaway County Sheriff, Darren White, said the loaded gun had been kept on a shelf which was built into the headboard of the master bed. The infant was in a crib in that room, and law enforcement found the gun nearby.
The baby boy was taken by a Life Net Air Ambulance to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.
Monday FOX 4 spoke with gun safety expert Don Pind, of Professional Firearms Consultants. He says there is no reason any child should have access to a gun. He says these are so many cheap and easy options for keeping firearms safe in the home, that it's the parents responsibility when a tragedy like this happens.
“But the parents need to keep them away from it; lock them up, whether it be in a gun sock… padlocks are available free from the police and sheriffs’ offices,” said Pind as he demonstrated putting a padlock though the barrel of a handgun.
A next door neighbor and friend of the family, Kathy Armentrout, said the woman was home alone with her four boys at the time of the shooting.
"They're a very good family and this was a tragedy. It's a sad deal. I just hope everybody prays for them," she said.
Armentrout says the four little boys, who are brothers, live in the house, including the baby who was killed. She grabbed the three children who she says are ages five, three and one-and-a-half and brought them to her house.
"They're not very old so they have no clue what was happening, you know," said Arementrout.
Sheriff White says he has contacted the prosecutor to give him a heads up about this case. The prosecutor will assemble a child fatality review board, made up of law enforcement, children's services and hospital personnel to help him determine of charges will be filed against the parents in this case.
The Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Nodaway County Ambulance, Nodaway County Rescue, Clearmont Fire and Life Net Air Ambulance.