(NEXSTAR MEDIA WIRE) – A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 12-year-old brother to death Saturday after finding a gun in the woods behind their home, police said.
The 5-year-old told officials he found the gun and thought it was a toy. He said he accidentally shot his brother in the chest, the police department in Griffin, Georgia, said in a news release. His brother was taken to a hospital where he later died.
A 7-year-old sibling was also present at the time of the shooting.
Griffin police said that earlier in the day, three men were able to escape officers during an attempted traffic stop in the area. Police said in the release that the men fled “behind houses in close proximity to where this shooting occurred.”
A police search turned up a bag suspected to contain MDMA, but no weapons were immediately found. However, police were later able to talk to the suspected driver of the fleeing vehicle who provided police with “information relative to the investigation.”
The police department’s Criminal Investigation Division is looking for the person suspected of abandoning the gun. The weapon and clothing will be sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab “to determine further who has possessed and touched the weapon,” police said.
Authorities plan to seek charges against those who left the gun where children could find it, according to the release.
“We will leave no stone unturned as we search for the individuals responsible for the abandonment of this weapon,” police chief Mike Yates said in a statement.