11-Year-Old Shot and Killed After Kids Find Unattended Gun Left in Car in Walmart Parking Lot

An 11-year-old was shot and killed by a 9-year-old in Dallas, Texas, this week after the children were left unattended in a car and found a firearm in the vehicle.

The 11-year-old, who has been identified by his mother as Dazmon Brown Jr., was in the care of the mother of an 11-year-old friend and that friend's 9-year-old brother on Sunday when they were left in a car as the friend's parent went shopping in Walmart, according to the Dallas Morning News. As the boys waited in the car in the parking lot, they found a gun, which they began to play with before the 9-year-old shot Brown in the head. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"The youngest brother I guess ended up getting it off the safety and shot my child in his head," Keyamber Matlock, Brown's mother, told local news channel Fox 4. Matlock said that she had trusted the mother of her son's friend and was shocked to receive a call about his shooting.

"Only thing we can do right now is give it to God and let God handle it," Brown's aunt, Theresa Edwards, told the television station. "You know what I'm saying? So that's the only thing that we can do right now."

A spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department emailed Newsweek a statement about the shooting when reached for comment on Tuesday.

"When officers arrived at the location, they found an 11-year-old male with a gunshot wound. The complainant was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced deceased. The witness, a 32-year-old female, had parked her vehicle at the location and left the complainant and the 9-year-old male suspect alone [in] her vehicle while she went shopping," the police said. They reported that the suspect "found a handgun in the vehicle and shot the complainant."

No charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing. It's unclear whether the mother of Brown's friend knew that the gun was in the car when she left the three children unattended in the parking lot.

The shooting death comes as the country's focus has again turned to gun violence, with a series of mass shootings and other gun deaths drawing national attention. Although mass shootings declined in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, when much of the country was under lockdown for months, the number of overall gun deaths increased.

Data from the Gun Violence Archive found that almost 20,000 Americans were killed by gun violence last year—a higher number than any other year in more than 20 years. Further, some 24,000 Americans died by suicide by gun.

A Walther P22 pistol is pictured April 17, 2007, in Centerville, Virginia. TIM SLOAN/AFP via Getty Images