MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 5, 2012) — Tragedy struck a Hmong family in Minneapolis on Tuesday when a two-year-old child died as a result of siblings playing with a handgun.
According to a Minneapolis Police Department press release, officers of the First Precinct responded to a call at around 12:45 p.m. A reported shooting involving a child victim occurred at the 1900 block of 7th Street South.
Officers found a two year-old boy, Neegco Xiong, who had apparently been accidentally shot by his four year-old brother. The four year-old had apparently been playing with a handgun he had found had in a bedroom in the home when the shooting occurred. The two year-old died in the ambulance at the scene.
The mother, father and three children, ages one, two and four were home at the time of the incident. The one year-old, the four year-old and a five year-old sibling, who was not home at the time of the incident, are in protective custody for the time being.
Minneapolis Police Department Homicide investigators have been assigned this case and no one has been arrested though the parents are being interviewed by investigators. The results of the Homicide Unit investigation will be presented to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for review of criminal charges against the parents. In Minnesota a four year-old cannot be charged with a crime.
The Minneapolis Police Department wants to remind everyone who has a firearm in their home that it is their responsibility to lock up firearms to prevent tragic accidents from occurring. Firearms should be stored unloaded, preferably in a gun safe, with the ammunition stored separately.
It is a crime in Minnesota to store a loaded firearm in a manner where a child can gain access to it. The Negligent Storage of a Firearm charge is found at 609.666, of the 2012 Minnesota Statutes.