FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A 9-year-old boy has been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after he was shot by his younger brother in Federal Way on Thursday morning.
The boy and his 8-year-old brother were handling a handgun in their apartment at the Kitts Corner Apartments in the 1200 block of South 336th Street shortly before 8 a.m., when the shooting occurred, according to Federal Way police.
The 9-year-old boy who was shot is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Federal Way police said detectives from their criminal investigations section are assisting with the investigation.
Federal Way Police Commander Kurt Schwan says if the weapon was properly stored, then the situation could have been prevented.
“Whether it’s illegal or not, whether it’s legal or not, firearms need to be locked up when they are not being used, when they’re not being handled by someone who knows how to handle them. They need to be secured,” Schwan said.
Parents in the area agree with police. Sheyanne Walker lives at the complex where the shooting happened. She says it’s usually a peaceful place where kids play most of the time. She says the news of this shooting is heartbreaking.
“That’s just tragic, you know,” Walker said.
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She, along with other parents like Kristy Robinson, believe weapons, or any dangerous materials should be kept under lock and key from kids.
“With weapons, medications, anything needs to be put up. Anything and everything, you know,” Walker said.
“We have to be super vigilant about everything that’s in our house,” Robinson said.
Parents like Robinson believe it’s vital to have conversations about dangerous items like guns with kids. Although it’s a tough conversation to have, she believes it will keep everyone safe.
“That I need to do anything in my power to prevent that from happening to my kids,” Robinson said.
Under Washington state law, if a gun owner does not properly secure their weapon and a child finds it, and hurts themselves or someone, that person can be charged with a felony. Once Federal Way Police conclude their investigation, they will share their findings with the prosecutor’s office. They determine whether charges could be filed.
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