NEW YORK -- A 4-year-old boy picked up his father's loaded .22 caliber rifle, walked outside and shot a 6-year-old friend in the head, leaving the victim in serious condition and shattering a normally quiet New Jersey neighborhood.
The shooting occurred Monday evening in Toms River, N.J., about 70 miles south of New York City, one day after an incident in Tennessee involving a 4-year-old who got his hands on a loaded gun. In the Tennessee shooting, the boy picked up a loaded gun, which went off and killed a 48-year-old woman.
At a televised news conference Tuesday, Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said the 4-year-old's parents were outside with some neighbors Monday evening. The boy walked into his house, came outside with the loaded rifle, and "a shot went out," Mastronardy said.
The 6-year-old, who lives in the neighborhood and is a playmate of the younger boy, was struck in the head. Neighbors said he was sitting in a go-cart when he was hit.