Philadelphia police say that a seven-year-old boy who found the key to the safe that held his grandfather's dismantled gun, opened the safe, assembled the gun and accidentally shot his 8-year-old sister in the arm.
The Daily Mail reports the boy shot his sister in the biceps while he was playing with the gun.
According to 6ABC.com, police say the accident happened while the boy was playing with his sister in her bedroom on the first floor of their grandparents' home in 1900 block of Georgian Road, West Oak Lane area of Philadelphia, at around 10.40 a.m. on Thursday. The gun was kept away in a lock box, but the boy found the keys, opened the safe, removed the pieces and put them together.
Lieutenant George McClay of the Philadelphia Police, said: “For a 7-year-old to do that (assemble a gun) was pretty creative, so he was playing with it for a little bit of time. So far from our investigation, we think it’s an accident.”
The Huffington Post reports that the little girl was taken to the hospital after her grandparents, hearing the shot, rushed to intervene. 6ABC.com reports the girl was later transferred to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where she spent the night. Doctors said she was in a stable condition.
Neighbors said the grandparents were responsible and caring adults and that it was only an accident. According to The Huffington Post, Beverly Jackson, a neighbor, said: "They're a wonderful family. Really, they're just a close-knit family and I know this was an accident." The Daily Mail reports friends and neighbors say their thoughts are with the family.
Police officer McClay said the boy was remorseful. He said: "The kid is very shook up. He's not happy with what he did and he knows he did something wrong."
Police said they do not plan to file charges against the boy or the grandparents.
According to the Daily Mail, while the grandparents took precautions, police say they could have done better. McClay said: "You have digital safes, things like that. You make sure kids don't know the combination. That's the best way to do it."
The police confirmed that the gun was registered.
The children remain in the custody of their grandparents.