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Cousin accidentally kills 11-year-old in Easter shooting

Posted April 6, 2010

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— An 11-year-old Columbus County boy died Sunday after being shot by his 13-year-old cousin, authorities said.

Justin Hunter Ward was shot once with a .22-caliber rifle and died in surgery at Columbus Regional Hospital, authorities said.

Justin and his 13-year-old cousin, whose name wasn't released, found a rifle in a shed at the home of a relative, and the gun went off as they played with it, authorities said.

The shooting remains under investigation.

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  • Homeward Apr 6, 2010

    Such a tragedy, all the way around. And I think it's pointless and just creepy the headline calls it "an Easter shooting" - what a non sequitur! The religious holiday had WHAT to do with it?

  • meta4csw Apr 6, 2010

    Kids will play with guns immediately after attending a gun safety don't touch 'em training. I don't care how sad they are, adults who leave a loaded gun at large need to face some charges and pay a real penalty to send that message to all of the gun-toting gun-loving hunting country folks who give BBs to 6 year olds and think it is just part of life. If you google this topic you will see sad stories all over the country.
    Let's get serious. Forget you left your rifle in the shed, no more guns for you and maybe some jail time to help everyone remember!

  • james27613 Apr 6, 2010

    Both my daughters know exactly what to do if they ever find firearms anywhere. They leave the area and find me or my wife.

    Both have been instructed in firearm safety using air rifle and co2 pistol as well as .22 rifle and pistols.

    Shame on the owner of the rifle for leaving it where a child could find it.

    NRA offers the Eddie Eagle safety program AT NO COST to any school.

    http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/

  • jp534 Apr 6, 2010

    4th amendment - sure. But I would assume that if you are a registered gun owner, there is the justification needed for a search whether it is secure and out of the reach of a child.

  • fishon Apr 6, 2010

    When my girls were younger than these children I took them to the range with a 22 rifle for a demonstration. After all, they were seeing people shot on TV and movies all the time. I took a couple eggs, oranges, apples, and showed they how much damage is caused by that little bullet (of course when hit the items exploded) and that is what happens inside a person when struck by a bullet. I also told them if they were at a friend's house and someone found a gun to find an adult and get out!

  • froggytroat Apr 6, 2010

    >>What's ridiculous is that it is NOT IllEGAL for minors to own shotguns. That's the problem.

    That's not the problem. The problems is they didn't know how to make it safe. As soon as any child I have is old enough (as deemed by me, not someone else) they will know not to touch a gun, not to be around someone that has one, and how to make one safe.

  • G-man Apr 6, 2010

    Proud-Bleeding-Heart, maybe there are too muany stupid people in the world.

  • BCampbell Apr 6, 2010

    "Say what you want but reality is pretty clear: Kids killing kids is a problem. The old days are over and for childrens' safety we have to change with the times."

    No law you can enact will be more effective than proper parenting. As has been stated, teach children from an early age how to properly and safely handle firearms and make sure they know the consequences of improper handling, lock your guns, and keep them out of reach.

    For every tragedy such as this, there are millions of other households that do follow the laws, do teach their children, and do keep their guns locked up. No need to restrict their ability to enjoy their hobbies and maintain their family tradition just because of those who don't follow the law.

  • graceb81 Apr 6, 2010

    How many times is this going to happen before people wise up and start locking their guns in a safe place? Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Such a sad sad story, thoughts and prayers to the entire family involved.

  • nicklebon Apr 6, 2010

    At 13 everyone should not know 1) ALL guns are loaded 2) Don't point a gun at something you don't intend to kill. These are not complicated rules and these rules would have prevented this death. As for locking things away where a 13yo can't get to them. Good luck with that.

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