Police identified the suspect as 20-year-old Alex Brown, and said the victim was his 4-year-old nephew.
Brown is still in jail facing felony charges for the shooting. He told police he didn’t mean to do it and this was all an accident.
According to records, first responders were called to the 300 block of Delta Road in the Westwood neighborhood after a 4-year-old was shot in the head.
The little boy was rushed to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, where he died.
Court documents reveal Brown told police, “he was unloading his pistol when it accidentally fired and struck his nephew in the head.”
"Just thinking about what happened, what the family’s going through, my heart goes out to the family and my prayers go out to them. That’s sad really," said Thredis Isom, who lives in the area.
Police say this is another painful reminder of the importance of practicing gun safety and being a responsible gun owner.
“As a parent of three, two teens and one pre-teen, it’s hurtful to hear that. We just encourage people to please secure your firearms and when you handle them please be responsible," MPD public information officer Louis Brownlee said.
Brown is scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday morning.
WREG has reported on five shootings involving kids in the last two weeks, with the youngest being just 4 years old. Three of the kids died, while two are now paralyzed.
“Children are greatly impacted by this kind of violence in their community and it’s these types of trauma that have long lasting impact on their health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Altha Stewart with the Youth Advocacy Center.
Youth advocates encourage parents and caregivers to talk directly to kids about their grief. They may not be able to express their feelings immediately, but to be prepared to respond whenever they are ready.
"Kids are resilient, and we know that, but they’re also significantly impacted when these things happen and we cannot ignore that," Stewart said.
If you need help you can contact the Youth Advocacy Center at 901-448-4200.