Thanksgiving Shooting Sees 3-Year-Old Kill 5-Year-Old Cousin: Police

A 3-year-old fatally shot a 5-year-old cousin on Thanksgiving in Georgia after using a handgun that belonged to the toddler's father, according to the police.

The South Fulton police told Newsweek on Sunday that the 5-year-old girl, Khalis Eberhart, died after being shot in the chest at The Gardens at Camp Creek Apartment Houses. She was later taken to the hospital as she was suffering from life-threatening injuries.

The police said that the 3-year-old boy "located an unsecured firearm and fired the weapon, striking the victim."

The South Fulton police didn't reveal any further details about the events that led up to the incident or how the gun was accessed.

Authorities are still investigating the incident, but family members said that the shooting was accidental, according to WXIA-TV.

According to the station, the girl's family will plan her funeral on Monday after a candlelight vigil was held in her memory on Saturday where her father was reportedly shedding tears.

The child's grandmother, Tracy Towns, said that the 5-year-old had a twin who had a "great bond" with Eberhart.

"When you saw one, you saw the other one. They were always holding hands, hugging. They were always together. They talked to one another. They had a language that nobody [else knew]," Towns said.

A number of shootings involving young family members have been reported over Thanksgiving weekend. On Thursday, a 13-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a 5-year-old family member during a Thanksgiving gathering in Minnesota.

The police posted a description of the events that rolled out when officers arrived at the scene where the child died at home.

"First arriving officers located a victim of a single gun shot to the head and began life saving actions that were ultimately unsuccessful. A firearm, and the person responsible for firing it were located at the scene," the police said.

The Brooklyn Park police told Newsweek in a statement on Saturday that the teen was "handling a gun" at the time the incident unfolded.

"Several other juveniles were present as they were attempting to make a social media video. At some point the 13-year-old male shot the gun striking the 5-year-old male victim," the police said in the statement.

The police also said that the incident was still under investigation but confirmed that the 13-year-old boy was arrested and is currently being held at Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center.

Over 1,300 children in the U.S. are fatally shot by guns every year, according to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Updated to include comments from the South Fulton police.

3-year-old fatally shoots 5-year-old cousin
A 3-year-old fatally shot a 5-year-old cousin on Thanksgiving in Georgia after using a handgun that belonged to the toddler's father, according to the police. istock/Getty/MattGush