DENTON, Texas –– Just after 11:30 a.m. Saturday, an urgent 911 call came from 2720 Stockton Dr.: A 5-year-old boy had been shot in the head. News of the shooting spread quickly in a neighborhood where many people have children of about the same age.
"It's devastating. You just always hope that it never happens and when it does, it just kind of makes you want to keep your kids close," said Darien Jones who lives on the same street.
Police said the boy's 8-year-old friend found a 22-caliber rifle in a room where they were playing. The older boy pointed the gun at his younger friend and accidentally shot him. The 5-year-old's grandparents and a 16-year-old relative were also in the home. Police said the boy's parents also live at the same residence but were at work at the time of the shooting.
Denton Police spokesman Orlando Hinojosa said the shooting was being investigated as an accident. The child was in critical condition at Children's Medical Center in Dallas Saturday evening.
Jones' son is the same age as the boy police say fired the weapon, just 8-years old. Donovan Jones was playing basketball in the driveway. News 8 asked him if he knew what to do if he found a gun. He gave an answer his father was proud of.
"I would just leave it there and walk away and come home and tell my parents about it," said Donovan.
Hinojosa said the shooting was an opportunity for parents to talk to their children about gun safety.
"You know education is very very important especially with firearms. If parents do own firearms you must educate your children that they are not toys," said Hinojosa.
"You try to keep them locked up. You try to give your kids information about guns so that they know what to do when they do find them," said Jones. "And you just hope for the best and pray."