A 3-year-old girl was killed after a 5-year-old boy shot her early Friday morning in Minnesota, officials said.
The shooting was reported in a residence in the town of Bena at 3:54 a.m., according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival, deputies learned that the victim had been shot inside the home, Sheriff Tom Burch said in a news release.
Family members took her to Deer River Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to authorities.
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An autopsy is pending with the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, and an investigation is ongoing, Burch said. It remains unclear whether criminal charges will be filed in connection with the incident.
The sheriff’s office has not disclosed the relationship between the victim and the suspected shooter.
At least 3,371 children and teens in the U.S. were killed with guns in 2019, according to a report this year from the Children’s Defense Fund, a child advocacy nonprofit organization. The group estimates that a child was killed by a gun every two and a half hours during that year.