Kids playing with loaded gun leads to fatal shooting of 14-year-old girl, sheriff says
HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX/Gray News) - A 14-year-old girl died in what authorities call an unintentional shooting after a group of kids were playing with a loaded gun.
WLOX reports Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said the shooting occurred earlier this week at a duplex in the Bayside Park community.
According to the sheriff, a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old walked over to a 14-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother’s home to hang out.
The two kids who were visiting reportedly brought two guns with them, and all four kids then went into a bedroom, according to police.
The sheriff said the guns ended up on a bed when one of the kids picked one up. Thinking it was empty, the juvenile pointed the weapon toward the 14-year-old girl and pulled the trigger.
A shot was fired, and a bullet struck the girl below her left eye. She died instantly, according to the sheriff.
Authorities later identified the teen killed as Alexis Sky Pierson.
The sheriff said the investigation has determined the shooting was not intentional. But the case will be taken to Hancock County Youth Court to decide any charges in the incident.
No adults are currently charged with any crime. However, the sheriff said it’s too soon to tell if any future charges will be filed, and the investigation is ongoing.
Kolby Sims, a neighbor, said he has lived near Pierson for over three years and was with another neighbor outside when the shooting happened. He said they heard a loud thud and thought the children dropped something before all the kids started running out.
Sims said the neighborhood kids often play together, including his younger brother. He said he was devastated once he found out a gunshot caused the noise.
“It just made me sick to my stomach, especially so close to my little brother and me having a son of my own. It hits different,” Sims said.
Alexis’ great-grandmother Polly Boswell described the teen as an angel who loved her family and had the biggest heart.
“She’s been special since she was little. I can’t really describe what it was about her. It’s like she just shined with love. " Boswell said. “There was just something about her that you knew that she was special.”
Alexis, also known as Lexi, was a sixth-grade student at Hancock Middle School. The school district released a statement Wednesday afternoon expressing their profound sadness:
“We extend our sympathy and prayers to the family during this difficult time,” the statement read. “Today, counselors, teachers and other support staff have been, and will continue to be, available to students, staff, and parents. How children react in these situations varies. Children may ask questions about death, be sad or afraid. We encourage parents to listen to their children and if they want to talk, answer his or her questions simply and honestly.”
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