Philadelphia boy, 10, fatally shoots himself with gun he found in family home

The child is one of at least 90 minors shot in Philadelphia in 2021, which has seen a 35% increase in homicides.

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A 10-year-old boy in North Philadelphia is dead after shooting himself with a handgun found in a cabinet in his home. According to reports, the child and his 8-year-old sister were home alone on Saturday when they found the gun, and he fired it, shooting himself in the head. 

His sister rushed to a neighbor’s home to call emergency responders, who took him to St. Christopher’s Hospital, where the boy was pronounced dead. 

The children’s unidentified father is cooperating with Philadelphia police.

Police are shown on the scene Saturday in North Philadelphia, where a 10-year-old boy shot himself with a gun he found in a cabinet in his home. (NBC Philadelphia)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw spoke about the shooting, saying, “Another one of our precious children has died as the result of gunfire. As a community, we must all strive to do better in keeping guns out of the hands of our kids.”

The young boy is one of at least 90 minors shot in Philadelphia this year. As previously reported, a 3-year-old boy was injured by gunfire on Juneteenth in a triple shooting that struck the child three times and killed his father. 

“Every act of gun violence is tragic,” Outlaw said in a statement after that incident. “However, it is especially disturbing and sickening when the victims are among our most vulnerable. … While holiday celebrations will continue throughout the city, our investigators will work tirelessly to bring justice to all of those affected by the scourge of gun violence.”

Local reports note the City of Brotherly Love has seen a 35% increase in homicides over last year. 

A lone police car stands guard as aerial and ground firemen battle a building fire in light snow. Credit: Getty

Currently, no charges have been filed in the case. 

“It is sad,” a neighbor of the boy told NBC Philadelphia. “We as a society got to get it together.”

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 1,300 children die annually from gun violence. They estimate that more than 22 million children live in a home with a gun present. Further, the academy notes that, like the Philadelphia shooting, most victims of unintentional shootings are boys, and nearly 40% of all unintentional shooting deaths are among children aged 11 to 14 years old. 

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