Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
A nine-year-old boy accidentally shot and injured his brother in the stomach with a pistol in Waterfalls, Harare, last week. The boy got hold of the gun which belonged to his father and had been left unsecured.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the incident and said the victim aged 10 sustained moderate injuries following the incident.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm a shooting incident committed by a nine-year-old boy on August 27, 2015 in Waterfalls, Harare,” she said.
“On the said date at around 1000 hours, the father of the two boys who owns some businesses in Harare left his two sons aged nine and 10 years at his residence.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the two boys entered their father’s bedroom and got hold of the unsecured firearm.
“The younger boy tempered with the firearm and accidentally shot his elder brother in the stomach and he sustained moderate injuries,” she said.
The injured boy was taken to hospital for treatment and police were investigating the case.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said they were urging members of the public to safeguard their firearms by ensuring that they were properly secured in a gun cabinet or under lock and key, out of reach of children.
This is not the first time that unsecured firearms have been found in wrong hands, especially of young children and teenagers.
In 2012, two Harare teenagers allegedly ambushed and shot at six cars on separate occasions in one night while wearing camouflaged clothing.
Taylor Cameron (19) and his 17-year-old friend were facing 10 counts of attempted murder after they allegedly hatched a plan in July 2012 to shoot at motorists passing through the intersection of Leopold Takawira Street and Cork Road.
It was alleged that they hid in a ditch and shot at motorists passing through the robot controlled intersection.
Childhood gun and shooting accidents are not rare and they are one of the top 10 leading causes of accidental death for all age groups outside of newborns and infants in the United States.
In 2007, there were 122 unintentional firearm deaths of children, and an additional 3 060 non-fatal gun and shooting accidents, which resulted in an estimated 1 375 children needing to be hospitalised for their injuries in that country alone.