Local News

Durham boy kills little brother in accidental shooting

Posted April 28, 2014
Updated April 29, 2014

— A 9-year-old boy died late Monday after an accidental shooting inside a home at the intersection of Macon and Washington streets, Durham police said.

Christian Pittman's 12-year-old brother fired the fatal shot when the boys were playing with a gun in the house shortly before 9:30 p.m., Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said Tuesday. The older boy, whose name hasn't been released, was injured but wasn't shot, the chief said.

Police were notified of the shooting after a child contacted emergency operators.

"I don't know if he's dead," said the child, who dialed 911 from a nearby home and was crying during the call. "He's bleeding really bad. He's been shot. I don't know if he's breathing."

Lopez called the shooting an accident but noted that it highlights the need for better gun safety. The handgun was left unsecured in the home, he said.

"It is the responsibility of adults to make sure that kids don't have firearms in their possession," he said. "We are going to continue investigating and see who is responsible for securing that firearm and take the appropriate actions in response to it."

Deeshawn Magwood, an older brother of the two boys, said relatives believe the gun belonged to an ex-boyfriend of their mother.

"I don't know if I want to break down and cry or give up," a distraught Magwood said Tuesday. "I just wish it could have been prevented."

Lopez said it could have been. He urged families to store firearms in a secure location where children can't access it and to use gun locks to prevent weapons from being fired accidentally.

Durham Public Schools administrators said counselors would be at Glenn Elementary School on Wednesday to help students and staff cope with Christian's death.

Monday night's shooting was the second on Macon Street this year.

A 5-month-old girl was accidentally shot in the hand and leg in February while her parents argued on a front porch. Her father, Arin Futrell, was charged with felony negligent child abuse after police ruled the shooting an accident.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Richard Hertz Apr 30, 2014
    user avatar

    Where was the adult? Who was supposed to be watching these two? When I was coming up we had guns in the house. My son grew up in a house full of guns. But he was also taught from a very early age that you did not play with guns. And still today I preach safety to him each and every time we go shooting or hunting.

  • LetsBeFair Apr 30, 2014

    all mine are in a safe that looks like a bank vault.

  • LetsBeFair Apr 30, 2014

    This just hurts to read the headline. To me, its not a gun problem because it can happen with anything. Not sure how many times my mom said we coulda killed ourselves!! when I was growing up.

  • Paul Stroud Apr 30, 2014
    user avatar

    @68_DODGE_POLARA that study has been widely and harshly debunked. Their numbers fell apart quickly under scrutiny.

  • BP Apr 30, 2014

    Mine is under lock and key

  • 678devilish Apr 30, 2014

    I do hope and pray that they get the older boy some serious counseling so that he will be able to cope in life. He took his brother life and he will never forget that.

  • 678devilish Apr 30, 2014

    wake_up_jeff_0 Apr 30, 9:35 a.m.

    very good comment. I wish there were more responsible parents like you, then there would be a lot more kids alive.

  • 678devilish Apr 30, 2014

    Parents should be charged for leaving a loaded gun where young children can put their hands on. Its 2014 and parents still don't learn do they?

  • 68_dodge_polara Apr 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Remove the criminals and suicides from such a statistic it's falls apart quickly.

    You should read "More Guns, Less Crime" But you won't as it's factual information but doesn't support your agenda.

  • Super Hans Apr 30, 2014

    View quoted thread