DETAILS: 12-year-old Columbus boy shot to death ruled as accidental

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 7:59 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - We have more details about the tragic death of a 12-year-old boy in Columbus.

Monday night, the Muscogee County Coroner confirmed the young boy was involved in an accidental shooting. We’re told he was handling the gun when it fired.

News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams talked with a neighbor of the victim who was right by the mother’s side when all of this happened.

That neighbor, Brenda Medlock, told us she had just seen the victim and his younger brother playing outside that same day. She said she did not personally know the family, and that she has witnessed a lot of crime in her neighborhood off of Norris Road. Medlock explained this incident by far hit her the hardest.

“The most devastating part of the whole ordeal was watching them bring that baby out in a body bag,” Medlock said. “It just... it tears you up.”

A 12-year-old boy dead after what Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan is ruling an accidental shooting with no foul play involved. Officials told us the 12-year-old was watching his 8-year-old brother while his mom went to a nearby tattoo shop...Then, the mother got a call from the 8-year-old, alerting her of the shooting.

No one came to the door when News Leader 9 visited the home on Norris Road Monday.

Medlock told us the family moved into the home next door to her family just one week ago.

“Well, the baby was outside playing... the youngest one,” Medlock explained. “The oldest one had come out on the porch and was talking to him, not argumentative or anything.”

Then just hours later, at about 6:40 Sunday night, Medlock said she never heard a gun shot, but she did hear the victim’s mother run out of the home after finding her son dead on his bed.

“It’s the most devastating to see where your child got killed, no matter the circumstances,” the neighbor said.

This is the third known child killed by accidental gunfire in our area in a matter of months.

Co-owner of Shooters, Nicole Bessinger, said it’s not only important to lock up your firearms, but it’s equally as important to have conversations with your children about the importance of gun safety.

“Small kids are curious about everything, especially the way firearms are glamorized in today’s society,” Bessinger explained. “If they don’t know, they are going to find out what they can. Unfortunately, sometimes it ends in tragedy.”

Columbus officers are continuing to investigate this case.

If negligence is determined to be a factor in tis case, the victim’s parent could be charged.

Count on News Leader 9 to keep you updated on this story.

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