Mpls Toddler Shot, Killed by 4-Year-Old Brother

Updated: 12/06/2012 12:08 PM By: Katherine Johnson & Mark Albert

A two-year-old Minneapolis boy died Wednesday after he was accidentally shot by his four-year-old brother.

Police say just before 1 p.m. the two brothers were playing with a handgun found in a bedroom at their Minneapolis townhouse when the two-year-old was shot.

"I looked down the street and I saw a baby on the ground on the grass, next to the step, and I saw the paramedics performing CPR and pumping on his chest," said neighbor Michelle Prestegard. "They picked up his little body and his little body went limp."

The toddler died in the ambulance. The boy's uncle says he had four nephews that range in age from one to five-years-old. Both parents were home when police say one of the brothers accidentally shot the two-year-old but no one knows how the boys got their hands on the gun in the first place.

"It's preventable," said Sgt. William Palmer with Minneapolis Police. "And if you own a gun or have one in your home you have the responsibility to ensure that another tragedy like this doesn't happen."

The uncle of the two-year-old says the parents usually keep the gun high on a cabinet.

A third brother was home at the time of the shooting, but he wasn't hurt. Neighbors tell us the fourth brother was at school. All of the surviving children were in protective services custody Wednesday night.

When the investigation is complete, prosecutors will decide if the parents should be charged with any crime.

The boy's death is the fourth child under the age of six to be accidentally shot in Minneapolis and St. Paul in just the past year.

Cornelius George, whose five year-old son, Nizzel was struck and killed by a stray bullet as he slept inside his grandmother's North Minneapolis home in June, reacted Wednesday when told of another child's death.

"It's surprising because I lost my son to some gun violence and I'm still grieving, I'm still hurting," George said inside the home where his son grew up. Nizzel's toys were still visible on the living room table, nearly six months to the day after his death.

"I just want to give my condolences out to the family that lost a two year-old," said George, "and I just hope that we can find a better solution."