Another Memphis family grieves tonight, as for the second straight day, a child in Memphis accidentally shoots himself and later dies.
The latest victim – an eight-year-old boy – who died Sunday afternoon after shooting himself in the 1000 block of Parkland Road, off of Barron Avenue in southeast Memphis.
It’s the third accidental shooting in three days in Memphis, claiming the lives of two children in two days.
Local 24 saw friends holding up devastated family members Sunday afternoon, who were reeling after that boy unexpectedly lost his life.
“Whatever you have a gun for, take it, lock it up or even don’t have the gun,” Roxie Driver, a neighbor, said.
“It’s a wake up call everywhere,” Wilson Alexander said.
Sunday afternoon’s deadly accidental shooting by a child followed another Saturday evening, when police said a boy shot himself inside an east Memphis apartment.
Authorities charged that boy’s father – 38-year-old Gari Settles – with reckless homicide.
“We saw his reactions and everything when he was in the police car, he was anguished and everything,” a neighbor said, who didn’t want to give her name.
The weekend string of children accidentally shooting themselves – including a four-year-old girl in the neck Friday night – continues a troubling trend in Memphis compared to the rest of the state.
According to the gun safety organization Safe Tennessee Project, nine of 20 such incidents so far this year in Tennessee happened in Memphis, seven of the 20 incidents happened since June 21st alone and three of the eight deadly accidental shootings of children in 2017 happened in Memphis.
“It’s incredibly frustrating, you know, gun violence is a very complicated issue, keeping guns out of the hands of children is not,” Safe Tennessee Project Policy Director Beth Joslin Roth said.
A recent study found in 2016, among large cities, Memphis ranked first in unintentional shootings of children.