Woman Arrested After 10-Year-Old Playing With Gun Shoots, Kills Brother

A woman was arrested on Wednesday in connection to a child who was fatally shot by his brother the previous evening.

The 36-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of endangering the welfare of a child after a 10-year-old shot his brother while he was holding a gun and it accidentally went off. Police said the woman owned the gun.

Tuesday's incident is one of the most recent unintentional shootings by a minor. So far in 2022, there have been at least 51 unintentional shootings by minors resulting in 17 deaths and 38 injuries across the country. In February, Missouri had two unintentional shootings in homes, one involving a 12-year-old girl and another involving a 3- and 4-year-old, according to Everytown Research.

Tuesday's shooting happened at a home in the Walnut Park West neighborhood in St. Louis just before 8:00 p.m. Authorities told KMOV that the victim, 12-year-old Lafrance Johnson, and his brother were with a parent who was getting a haircut in the home on the 5600 block of Summit Place when Lafrance was shot in the face.

Emergency responders arrived at the home and pronounced the child dead at the scene. The child abuse unit of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is handling the investigation.

The death follows a slew of other shootings involving children in recent weeks. In St. Louis on Friday, two cousins aged 12 and 14 were playing with a gun while live streaming on Instagram in a bathroom at a family birthday party when the gun went off. Both children were fatally shot in the head. Police listed the incident as a murder-suicide while the family says it was an accident.

A 3-year-old boy in Memphis died after being shot in the head on Sunday after his brother found an AR-15 gun at their home. The boy's mother, Tinesha Jackson, said the gun belonged to her friend Tedrick Butler, who had left the firearm in her bedroom. Butler was charged with criminally negligent homicide and tampering with evidence, in addition to other charges.

Meanwhile, more and more people are facing firearm-related charges for incidents involving children in which they did not pull the trigger. Police said the father of a 3-year-old would likely face charges after the child accidentally shot and killed his mother with a gun he found in the backseat of the family's car.

Since the beginning of the year, 382 children have been killed by gun violence with another 884 injured. There have been at least 333 unintentional shootings across the country thus far in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Update 3/30/22, 3:15 p.m. ET: This article was updated with additional information.

Women Arrested in Connection to Shooting
A Missouri woman was arrested on Wednesday in connection to a child who was fatally shot by his brother the previous evening. Above, police tape outside the Ferguson Police Department on March 12, 2015, in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images