12-Year-Old Dead After Accidental Shooting in Jefferson County

"It was a tragic accident"

ALTHEIMER, Ark. -- A 12-year-old boy died Thursday following an accidental shooting involving his older brother. Law enforcement says the two were wrestling over a family rifle.

This happened around 7 p.m. Thursday in the 700 block of Short Front Street in Altheimer, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities were first called to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room to investigate a report of suspected child abuse. After a series of interviews with the child's father and brother, it was determined the 12-year-old had been shot by his brother.

According to deputies, father Derick Shelton had left the home briefly. During that period of time, the boys wrestled over the gun. According to deputies, the weapon accidentally fired and the younger Shelton was shot in the neck by his brother.

JCSO investigators traveled to the family home and discovered a .22 caliber rifle and a single spent shell casing.

“It was tragic accident,” said Maj. Lafayette Woods, Jr. in a news release. “Moving forward, we want to find ways to prevent tragic accidents like this from occurring because no mother or father should have to bury their child; especially so premature.”

No charges are expected against the victim’s 13-year-old brother or father in this shooting death, according to law enforcement.

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