NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – A 10-year-old North Miami boy who fatally shot himself with his father’s gun Monday night appears to have done so accidentally, the city’s police chief said.
It happened at around 8 p.m. at his family’s home along the 14000 block of Northwest Fifth Place in North Miami. Police haven’t publicly identified the boy.
Police said the boy was home with his family at the time and somehow got hold of the gun before pulling the trigger. Medics rushed him to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he died at the hospital.
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Neighbors were stunned to hear what happened.
“We saw it everyday happen on TV, where people leave guns laying on the couch,” neighbor Letty Love said. “Can’t do that with kids, you cannot do that with kids.”
Loved ones of the child have identified him as 10-year-old Melvin Cockroft III.
Police said the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is looking into whether to file charges.
“They’re going to be looking into the entire circumstances, how it occurred, where the gun was at the time of the incident, they will be taking a holistic look at the incident,” North Miami police Chief Cherise Gause said.
Gause said it’s a sad reminder of the importance of securely storing guns.
“This is a tragic incident that we don’t want to see anybody in our community go through,” Gause said. “This is an incident that can certainly be avoided if we practice safe storage of firearms, especially when children are involved.”
She added: “Incidents like this don’t have to occur.”