Mother Faces Neglect Charges After 9-Year-Old Son Was Shot Dead by Toddler

A Mississippi mother is facing neglect charges after her 9-year-old son was accidentally shot dead by his toddler sister.

Ashton Walden was shot in the 100 block of Hargon Street in Canton on Wednesday, June 2. He died in hospital the following day, Canton Police Chief Otha Brown said.

According to WAPT, Walden's mother and her boyfriend had left him, his 10-year-old brother and their 2-year-old sister inside the car while she visited a friend. The sister reportedly found a gun under a seat in the vehicle and shot the boy in the head.

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"I never get used to a kid being shot," Brown said, according to WJTV. "Never ever. We're not used to no one getting shot, it's just something that you see different every day. The world has changed so much and there's just so much going on."

The boy's mother, who has not been named, faces neglect charges. Brown said the case will be presented to the Madison County District Attorney and more charges could be filed.

The Canton Police Department has been contacted for additional comment.

Walden was a third-grader at Reuben B. Myers Canton School of Arts & Sciences, according to the Canton Public Schools District.

"We are saddened to share the loss of our rising third-grader, Ashton Walden," the school district wrote in a tribute on Facebook. "We ask that you please keep Ashton's family and friends, along with the Reuben B. Myers family, uplifted during this difficult time."

Walden is the latest in a long line of children killed in an unintentional shooting by another child.

There have been at least 93 unintentional shootings by children so far in 2021, which have resulted in 36 deaths and 62 injuries, according to Everytown for Gun Safety's #NotAnAccident Index.

According to the index, there have been at least 300 such shootings every year since 2015.

On its website, Everytown notes that research shows an estimated 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in homes where there is at least one gun that is kept loaded and unlocked.

The group, along with numerous other charities and nonprofit organizations, urges gun owners to take extra precautions when children are in the presence of firearms.

Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a campaign called Be SMART to raise awareness that storing guns responsibly—that is, with firearms locked, unloaded and kept separate from ammunition—can help save children's lives.

Gun stock photo
Stock photo. A 9-year-old boy died after being shot by his toddler sister in Canton, Mississippi. Tim Sloan/AFP via Getty Images