A 10-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his brother during a game of 'cops and robbers' when, police say, he pointed a rifle he didn't know was loaded.
The incident happened Tuesday at a rural home in Loganville in Wisconsin's Sauk County.
The boy was playing with his 14-year-old brother and another child. They were toying with a rifle that had the magazine removed but, unbeknownst to the boy, still had a round in the chamber, the sheriff's office said.
When the boy pulled the trigger, the bullet struck his older brother in the chest. He died at the scene.
The Reedburg Times-Press said the three children lived at the home, The father owned the rifle and it was accessible, the newspaper said.
Authorities said the incident is still under investigation and no one has been charged yet.
Nearly 1,300 children died annually from gun-related injuries in the US, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics -- which looked at deaths from 2012 to 2014. Boys account for 82% of all child firearm deaths, the study found.
Doctors also emphasize that there are methods available to safely secure and store firearms, away from children, and they recommend that parents employ those methods when keeping guns in the home.