An 8-year-old boy died Sunday after he was accidentally shot with a BB or pellet gun while playing with another child in North Carolina, according to authorities.
The incident occurred Sunday at a home in the Stony Point community, located about 55 miles north of Charlotte, according to a news release by the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office.
“Upon arrival officers discovered that an 8-year-old child was struck in the chest with a single shot from a BB or pellet gun,” the release said.
The unidentified child was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital for evaluation before he was transported to Brenner’s Children’s hospital in Winston Salem. During transport, the child went into cardiac arrest and was diverted to Davey Medical Center, where he died from his injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.
Authorities said it appears that the injury was accidental.
“The accidental shooting occurred when two juveniles age 8 and age 7 were shooting a BB gun and a pellet rifle at targets near the family home,” the release said. “The investigation is continuing.”
From 1990 to 2016, an estimated 364,133 children under the age of 18 were treated in U.S. emergency departments for injuries related to nonpowder firearms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
More than 47% of the injured children were ages 6-12, the academy added. BB guns accounted for 80.8% of the injuries, followed by pellet guns at just over 15%.
Last month, an 8-month-old baby girl in Arizona was critically injured after being shot in the head with a BB gun. The incident led to the arrest of the child’s mother and two other individuals.