Georgia authorities say a 5-year-old accidentally killed his older brother with a loaded firearm he discovered in the woods.
According to CNN, the incident occurred Saturday in Griffin, Georgia, where officers responded to a report about a 12-year-old boy who sustained a gun wound to the chest. Officers arrived at the scene and began performing CPR on the child, before transporting him to the hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
Officers called the shooting a "tragic accident," as they believe the gun was abandoned in the woods by suspects who fled a traffic stop earlier that day. The 5-year-old told authorities he found the gun near his home and believed it was a toy.
"The children were out here peacefully playing in the backyard on the trampoline," the boys' neighbor Tom Whitehead told CNN affiliate WGCL. "The little one found a gun ... Turns around, thinks he's playing, says 'bang bang.' It was loaded and killed him. Think about that mother. The next day, Mother's Day, and one boy is dead by the hand of his younger brother."
The Griffin Police Department are now searching for the individuals who they believe discarded the gun in the woods. The weapon and the 12-year-old's clothing will be sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for analysis. Officials will attempt to determine who has possessed and touched the gun, while "the clothing will be subject to a Gun Shot Residue analysis based on GBI discretion."
"Our hearts cry out for this family during this time of tragic loss," the GPD wrote in a statement. "Chief Mike Yates says, 'We will leave no stone unturned as we search for individuals responsible for the abandonment of this weapon."