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A 5-year-old Georgia boy accidentally shot and killed his 12-year-old brother after they found a gun in a wooded area near their home in Griffin, outside of Atlanta, Saturday, authorities said.
Investigators with the Griffin Police Department said the boy told them he thought the gun was a toy and shot his brother in the chest while playing with it. The 12-year-old was taken to the hospital where he died of his wounds.
The department is now shifting its investigation to finding who abandoned the gun, according to FOX 5 in Atlanta.
“We will diligently pursue and charge any other parties responsible for the actions leading up to the apparent abandonment of this weapon allowing for access by these innocent children,” the department said in a statement posted on Facebook. “Our hearts cry out for this family during this time of tragic loss."
“We will leave no stone unturned as we search for the individuals responsible for the abandonment of this weapon,” Griffin Police Chief Mike Yates said in a statement.
Just hours before the shooting, officers were in the area searching for suspects who fled a traffic stop. Police found suspected drugs in the area where the suspects fled — near where the boy said he found the gun two hours later – but didn’t find any weapons at the time, according to FOX 5.
Officers later interviewed the suspected driver of the vehicle who gave them information relevant to the investigation, police said.
The gun and the boy’s clothing will be sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab for analysis, police said.