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5-year-old thought gun on top refrigerator was a toy, kills 3-year-old brother with it, grandpa says

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A grieving grandfather says his 3-year-old grandson died after the boy's 5-year-old big brother got a hold of a gun he found on top of the refrigerator Thursday morning in Kansas City, Mo.

Paramedics tried to revive Jermone Green, 3, when they responded to the apartment where he lived at 19th and Topping Ave., but he could not be saved.

Clifford Martin, Jermone's paternal grandfather who lives in Dallas, told FOX 4's Robert Townsend that from what he understands, Jermone's older brother went upstairs to tell his mom that he was hungry. Martin says his son told him over the phone that the boys' mom and boyfriend were sleeping, so she told her son to go get some cereal.

"So cereal was on top of the refrigerator and he climbed up on the counter and climbed up on the refrigerator and that's where the boyfriend had put his gun on top of the refrigerator," Martin explained what he'd heard from his oldest son during a phone call.

Court records show Martin's other son and Jermone's father is serving a 50-year prison sentence for robbery and assault.

He says his grandson picked up the gun, thought it was a toy and then shot his baby brother, killing him instantly.

"He just had a beautiful, happy spirit. He always had a smile on his face," said Martin. "He liked to play jokes and tease. He was just extremely funny."

Now the ordained minister says he and his family rely on their faith to get through the heartbreak.

"My heart is shattered," he said. "I had so many plans of what we wanted to do this summer."

Martin says Jermone's funeral will be next week and he'll come into town for it from Dallas.  A GoFundMe account has been set up by a relative for  funeral and living expenses for his remaining siblings.

Meanwhile, FOX 4's Robert Townsend asked Kansas City, Mo., police spokesperson Kari Thompson if she could confirm the information about the oldest brother finding a gun, but she said she could not. The Director of Communications for the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office, Mike Mansur, says police have not forwarded the case file to Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker for review.  Mansur says he expects it next week.

"Common sense would tell you to lock the gun up or put it in a closet," said Martin. "It's senseless."