Police: 4-year-old died of a gunshot in North County

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 2:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A child died of a gunshot Thursday afternoon in north St. Louis County.

Officers with the North County Police Cooperative told News 4 crews a 4-year-old died as a result of a gunshot wound in Dellwood. The incident happened around 1 p.m.

“Preliminary it appears this is an accidental from gunplay from a child,” said Major Ron Martin. “The child did not make it and is deceased. we currently have a team of investigators on scene”

A reminder to all families: if there is a firearm in your home, put it somewhere out of the reach of kids.

The North County Police Cooperative continues to investigate Thursday’s tragedy as an accidental shooting.

Major Martin with the co-op said there is no suspect because it’s not being investigated as a crime.

Still, there are questions left unanswered including how this child got his hands on the gun.

Along this street and cul-de-sac at Olney and Hudson in Dellwood are families who enjoy living on the quiet block.

On Thursday, it was marked off with police tape as officers arrived around 12:30 PM at the house in the 10400 block of Olney.

A 4-year-old boy found a gun, accidentally shooting and killing himself.

“It’s very shocking,” neighbor Aundryana Washington said.

“I see this little kid riding his bike around the neighborhood, on the street. Very friendly, he’ll talk to anybody, it’s just sad,” Neighbor Allen Horton said.

Police said a parent was in the house but in a different room when the boy fired the gun.

News 4 is told it was the parent who dialed 911.

“I can’t point fingers or point blame because we have a mother down there who is going to need our prayers and support and that’s going to be my focus,” Horton said.

This is the latest in a series of accidental shootings involving a juvenile.

In March, a 10-year-old child shot and killed his 12-year-old brother while playing with a gun in north St. Louis. Just a few days earlier, a 12- and 14-year-old were shot and killed in downtown St. Louis.

“If you have a firearm, please lock it up,” Washington shared. “Keep it somewhere your child can never find it. You never want something like this to happen.

News 4 contacted the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County to comment on efforts to tackle gun violence - including gun buybacks. Neither agency had anyone available to comment.

The North County Police Co-op, the agency responding to the 4-year-old’s death, said it does gun buybacks every year.

As for people living off Olney and Hudson, they hope other families learn from this tragedy.

“The kid’s life never started. you’re talking about 4 years old. never made it to kindergarten,” Horton shared. “That’s just sad.

News 4 asked the North County Police Cooperative if American Rescue Plan funding is available to target gun violence in the eight municipalities it polices.

Major Martin said all ARPA funding was given to St. Louis County. The county determines how that money is distributed.

Martin said local municipalities aren’t sure how those dollars can be used but the North County Police Co-op will be looking into this because of News 4′s questions.