RAYTOWN, Mo. — A family in Independence is facing tragedy after Independence police say an 8-year-old boy died from his injuries following an accidental shooting Saturday morning.
“We are just trying to put all the pieces together and figure out what happened,” said Jack Taylor, Independence Police Department spokesperson.
However, Stephen Brackeen with Blue Steel Guns & Ammo and Raytown Indoor Range says this type of accident is tragic but does happen.
“It's always a tragedy when children get a hold of firearms,” Brackeen said. "Unfortunately, guns lay around houses, and the children always pay the price in anything because they don’t know better, and they are playing with something they don’t know nothing about.”
Brackeen advises gun owners locking their guns up is the first step in preventing accidents like this.
“Nothing should be reloaded except for that firearm that you’re going to use to defend your home if necessary, and it should be locked up so only you can access it,” Brackeen said.
And Brackeen says that gun should be accessible at night in case someone has to defend their home.
“Your firearm should be locked up while you are in the house all day long, no threats," Brackeen said. "When you go to bed at night, it should be accessible in case someone comes in the house late at night. Other than that, you can leave it locked up.
“If you have some kids, lock up the firearms in your home, don’t put the ammunition with the firearm. If they get a hold of the gun, and they can’t load it, there will be no accident.”
Nonetheless, Brackeen says to think twice about what age gun owners expose their children to firearms.
“Lock it up, don’t even tell the kids you have it until they are old enough to understand the devastation that can be caused with a firearm,” Brackeen said.
Most importantly, Brackeen tells KSHB 41 News extensive training is key for anyone who owns firearms in the house with or without a child.