A San Bernardino woman has been arrested after one of her sons accidentally shot and killed his 12-year-old twin brother with a gun found in their home, authorities said.
The brothers were playing with the weapon in the master bedroom of their house in the 900 block of East Central Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Monday when it discharged, a San Bernardino police representative told KCBS-TV. It was unclear whether the firearm already had bullets in it or if the boys loaded it. While playing, one of the boys pretended to shoot the other, police said. The gun went off, striking the child in his upper body.
The boy died after being transported to a nearby hospital.
The boys’ mother, 45-year-old Gabriela Keeton, was arrested on suspicion of child cruelty for leaving a gun in an unprotected location, KTLA-TV reported. According to jail records, she is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
A study released in the December 2018 New England Journal of Medicine showed that gun-related incidents were the second-leading cause of death among children and adolescents in the United States in 2016. Unintentional causes — those not including suicide or homicide — comprised 26% of all firearm deaths among children ages 1 to 9, and 3% among adolescents ages 10 to 19.
An investigation into the shooting is ongoing, authorities said.