HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 4-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself at Henrico County apartment complex Monday night.
Authorities tell 8News they responded to reports of a shooting at White Oak Apartments on N. Laburnum Avenue just after 8 p.m.
When they arrived, found a child who had been shot. The boy, who has been identified as 4-year-old Demetrius Jefferson, received immediate medical attention on scene before being transported by emergency services to a local hospital, where he later died.
The child’s mother, 24-year-old Tiara Rogers, told 8News she suffers from ADHD and fell asleep after taking prescribed medication. That’s when she says her son went into a closet and got the weapon — which she described as a family heirloom that had been passed down to her — and accidentally shot himself.
Rogers said there was no other medication or alcohol in her system.
Rogers added that her son loved Iron Man, his favorite colors were red, white and blue and that he went by the nickname ‘Meecho.
“He was happy,” Rogers said. “If he sees you he’ll come give you a hug or kiss on the cheek.”
Rogers said she hopes other parents will learn from her tragedy.
“If you have guns make sure they are safe and put it up where a child can’t climb on a container or chair and get to it,” she said.
“I had to realize I can’t blame myself,” Rogers added. “Stuff like this happens every day. And I just want to think about happy things. A celebration of life. He was an outgoing boy.”
8News spoke with neighbors that live in the apartment complex, who say they heard three to four gunshots.
“The gun is not the enemy, it’s more people being ignorant to use guns and keep them safe, away from children,” one of the neighbor’s that spoke to 8News said.
“That’s really heartbreaking. I just really wish the best for the child. Sending prayers to their family because that’s really sad,” Alex Snow, another neighbor, continued.
It is unclear at this time if any charges will be filed.
A vigil will be held 6 p.m. on Sunday at 291 N. Laburnum. Anyone who wishes to attend is asked to wear red, white and blue.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. Citizens can also download the “P3 Tips” app to their mobile devices and submit their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.