A 2-year-old Kentucky girl was accidentally killed by her 5-year-old brother who fired a rifle he had been given as a gift, officials said Wednesday.
Cumberland County Coroner Gary L. White said an autopsy of Caroline Starks showed the toddler had died from a single shot from the .22-caliber rifle. The death has been ruled accidental and no charges will be filed, he said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“Most everybody in town is pretty devastated by this,” White said. “Nobody wants to take anyone’s guns away, but you’ve got to keep them out of harm’s way for the kids. It’s a safety issue.”
The girl, Caroline Starks, was in her Burkesville, Ky., home when her brother fired the rifle he had been given as a birthday present about 1 p.m. Tuesday. The mother had just stepped outside the house for a moment, White said. The child was pronounced dead at Cumberland County Hospital.