Mississippi boy fatally shoots sister over video game controller.
A 13-year-old girl in Mississippi has died after being shot by her 9-year-old brother over a fight about video games, police say.
The shooting took place around 12:30 p.m. Saturday at a home in northeast Mississippi, Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told The Washington Post on Monday.
Cantrell, who happened to be in the area and was the first officer to respond, said he arrived to a scene he’ll never forget.
The siblings had been in a bedroom playing a video game while adults were elsewhere in the home, Cantrell said, citing his interviews with the family, including with the 9-year-old boy.
At some point, the boy wanted the video game controller from his sister but she wouldn’t give it to him, Cantrell said.
“The little boy — he managed to get a gun out of a nightstand there in the room there, and he just came over and shot her,” Cantrell said. “I’ve been in law enforcement 30-some-odd years, and I’ve never dealt with anything quite like this. Not with children.”
The 13-year-old was rushed to a hospital in Amory, a city in Monroe County, then flown to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, about 130 miles away, the sheriff said.
Over the weekend, Cantrell told local media outlets the bullet entered the girl’s brain from the back of her head. She died Sunday at the hospital, WTVA News reported.
The sheriff did not identify the family.
Cantrell said the investigation was ongoing and that officials would confer Monday to see if there was any parental negligence.
“That’s what we’re going to be looking at today, to see if there are any charges that need to be brought against the parents,” he told The Post. “Anything’s possible. We’re going to look at every possible scenario.”
Cantrell said physical evidence at the scene corroborated “to a T” what the 9-year-old said had happened. He did not specify if the boy would face charges, or how much the child understood the severity of what had occurred.
“I talked to him. I just asked him what happened, and he said what he did,” Cantrell said. “At the same time, you’re talking to a little boy that’s nine years old. . . . I think a lot of this goes back to these games, you know, where you hit the reset button where everybody’s OK.”
In a phone interview Monday, Cantrell repeatedly called the situation a “tragedy,” one he hoped to never encounter again.
“I’ve never dealt with children shooting each other,” Cantrell said. “That’s about the only thing I can say at this point.”
Firearms-related injuries are the nation’s third leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 17, according to a 2017 report in the medical journal Pediatrics. An average of 1,297 children died each year from 2012 to 2014 from a firearm-related injury.
Analyzing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, The Post’s editorial board found that “on average, 23 children were shot each day in the United States in 2015. Of the approximately 8,400 shootings, 1,458 were fatal, a death toll that exceeds the entire number of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan this decade.”