Minnesota boy, 6, killed after unsupervised children find gun in house
'I feel like I'm to blame because I should have just made my kids stay home.'
Minnesota police are trying to determine if charges should be filed after a 6-year-old boy died when “several unsupervised children” found a handgun and he was shot.
The shooting occurred Sunday at an apartment in the 400 block of Sunrise Circle in the city of Moorhead. The boy, identified by his family as Marcellus “received a gunshot wound” and died from his injuries on the scene, the Moorhead police department said. None of the other children were injured. PEOPLE reports that the Clay County Attorney’s Office is now trying to decide whether charges will be filed in this case of adult negligence that resulted in the preventable death of a child.
The boy’s grandmother, Renee Williams, organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds “to cover the funeral cost as well as emotional support for his siblings and those who were affected by this tragic accident,” the campaign states.
“Marcellus was left in a home without proper supervision and a weapon was found. Marcellus and a few other children found a loaded gun not knowing that the gun was real or loaded pulled the trigger instantly ending Marcellus life,” Williams wrote.
“This was a tragic accident that could have been prevented,” she added. “May this serve as a reminder that guns need to be locked away and out of reach of children.”
According to the GoFundMe donor page, Marcellus “loved to play video games and play with his friends. He loved junk food especially when he wasn’t supposed to have it. He loved to read and going to school every day. In school he was known for being respectful and a good friend to many. At home, he was the third oldest he loved being around his siblings and his family.”
The campaign describes the boy as “a great kid who was destined for great things.”
Marcellus and his siblings were at a family member’s home when the shooting occurred. During the investigation, police recovered the gun inside the apartment.
“I feel like I’m to blame because I should have just made my kids stay home,” the boy’s mother, Demetria Smith, told Valley News Live. She said the children who witnessed the tragedy “haven’t been able to sleep” since the accident.
“Waking up, having spurts of crying. It’s going to be hard,” Smith said. “And I’m going to have to get my babies some serious help.”
She said her son was “so loving” but “had a little attitude sometimes and could be a little cocky sometimes, but his love overpowered that,” she explained. “He stayed on everybody’s phone. If you’re around, they want your phone! He was an all around good kid.”
Smith wants the person who left the gun where children could find it held accountable.
“This is not something that I wish on any parent,” Smith said. “I don’t know how I’m even going to do this.”
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