Memphis 3-Year-Old Boy Dies After Shooting Himself With AR-15 Firearm

A three-year-old boy from Memphis died from being shot in the head after he and his brother found an AR-15 firearm at their home, according to local media.

The incident occurred on Sunday night in southwest Memphis in the 400 block of Tonawanda Cove in Whitehaven, according to a Fox 13 report.

Police were told by the boy's mother, Tinesha Jackson, that the AR-15 firearm belonged to her friend, Tedrick Butler, who was at the home earlier that day. She said he had left the firearm in her bedroom.

The victim and his four-year old brother were left in the care of their uncle, when Jackson and Butler left the home to get food.

The uncle told police he was asleep at the home when he was awoken by a gunshot.

The four-year-old boy came out of the bedroom to explain that his brother had been shot. The uncle then went into the room to discover the injured child.

Jackson quickly returned home and took her child to the hospital, where he died.

Homicide Charges

Butler was charged with criminally negligent homicide, tampering with evidence along with a drug and gun charge, according to the News Channel 3 report.

Searching the house, police found bullet casings and two AR-style pistols and another pistol that had been illegally converted to fire automatically.

Jackson told police that she was aware he had brought the gun into her home and left it unsecured in her bedroom. She was also arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Newsweek has contacted the Memphis Police Department for comment.

A similar incident involving children and a lethal shooting also occurred last week in St. Louis, Missouri.

A 12-year-old girl shot herself and her 14-year-old cousin while streaming on Instagram Live on Friday.

The family called the incident a freak accident. Police initially listed the incident as a murder-suicide.

The 12-year-old, Paris Harvey, and her cousin, Kuaron Harvey were at a family birthday party in downtown St. Louis when the shooting happened.

The two children were filming a video in the bathroom during the party and the gun was accidentally set off, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Kuaron Harvey was hit in the head and Paris Harvey could be seen reaching for the gun when it went off and hit her. Both shots were fatal.

The children's grandmother, Susan Dyson, said the children were not arguing and she believes they didn't mean for the gun to go off.

"They were playing with the gun when they shouldn't have been, she said.

"Of course, they shouldn't have been doing it. I think it just went off. It went off by mistake."

Paris Harvey's mother echoed this message and said: "It was no murder, it wasn't suicide. It was a freak accident. It happened."

A file photo of a police banner. A Memphis three-year-old boy died after shooting himself with an AR-15 firearm. Getty Images