Philadelphia boy, 10, shoots self dead after finding gun at Tioga-Nicetown home. Boy was home alone with younger sister. Rising incidence of gun violence in the US.
The un-named boy was found inside a Tioga-Nicetown residence in North Philadelphia at about 6 p.m. Saturday with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. He was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead according to police.
‘Another one of our precious children has died as the result of gunfire,’ Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. ‘As a community, we must strive to do better in keeping guns out of the hands of our kids.’
The boy shot himself after he and his 8-year-old sister found the unattended weapon inside a cabinet in the home. The girl then ran to a neighbor’s home to call cops, NBC Philadelphia reported.
It’s unclear who owned the gun or if it was legally registered. The boy’s father was cooperating with investigators.
Rising incidence of gun violence and homicides
‘It is sad,’ a neighbor told NBC Philadelphia. ‘We as a society got to get it together.’
To date, no charges had been filed as authorities continued investigating.
Police Capt. Lee Strollo said no adults were home at the time of the deadly gunfire.
‘Supposedly, there was a gun inside a cabinet that the children located,’ Strollo told the Philadelphia Inquirer. ‘Very traumatic. Hopefully she’ll get any help that she needs.’
The weapon was ‘freely accessible to the youngsters instead of being properly stored in a locked box accessible only to its owner,’ Strollo reiterated.
‘We’re looking into how the gun got on location and who the owner of the gun is,’ Strollo said.
As of Sunday, 267 homicides have been tallied in Philadelphia — an increase of 36 percent from the same period last year, online data shows. At least 90 children have been shot this year in Philadelphia.
A total of 499 people were killed in Philadelphia last year — the highest since 1990, when a record of 500 homicides were tallied.
The rising gun violence mirrors that of other cities in the US post pandemic as citizens grapple with the fallout of a society grappling with ever widening income and social mobility, with a recent report saying American households added $13.5 trillion in wealth during the pandemic – with 70% of the gains going to the top 20%, of which a third went to the top 1 percent alone.