A four-year-old boy fatally shot himself after his mother left him in her car with a gun while she went shopping inside a Georgia grocery store.
Dekalb County police said Miyell Hernandez found his mom’s unsecured gun and ‘accidentally shot himself in a Publix store parking lot at around 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Miyell’s 13-year-old cousin and his eight-month-old sister were inside the vehicle with him at the time of the shooting, authorities said.
The teenager, who was in the passenger seat, ran inside the grocery store for help after the gun went off but it was too late.
‘When she turned, she saw my nephew… she went for help and that’s it,’ Maria Hernandez, one of Miyell’s aunts, told WXIA-TV. ‘Two bystanders called 911 and by then he was already gone.’
The boy was rushed to a local hospital but is believed to have died from his wounds at the scene.
No charges or arrests linked to the incident have been filed as of Tuesday, according to police.
‘Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Hernandez family,’ said DeKalb County Police Chief Mirtha Ramos. ‘We’re imploring gun owners to always keep their guns safe and secure.’
The three children had been told to stay in the car while Miyell’s mom went shopping for a birthday cake, according to Miyell’s other aunt – Guadalupe Woods.
‘This moment will forever be remembered as my dad’s birthday with the death of our only boy that we have besides my brother in our family,’ Woods said.
The gun was insecurely stored inside his mother’s car, police told Fox 5 Atlanta. It’s not clear exactly where the weapon was.
No one else was injured in the incident, which remains under investigation.
Miyell’s grandmother, April Griffin, told local outlets that she didn’t know how the boy got his hands on the gun since her daughter isn’t a gun owner.
‘He’s innocent and he’s so pure,’ Griffin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ‘Even though he’s not here, we know he went to heaven. We know it.’
A GoFundMe has been created to help pay for the costs of Miyell’s funeral. As of Tuesday, more than $3,000 was raised.
‘Keep us in your prayer,’ the description on the website reads. ‘We are asking for love and support to fund a tragic moment for our family … Thank you for your love and support.’
Miyell is the sixth child to have been a victim of a gunfire shooting in greater Atlanta this year, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Earlier the same day, a 16-year-old suspect was charged in the death of nine-year-old Kemoni Mack, who was shot at an apartment complex in southeast Atlanta, police said.