PHILADELPHIA (KYW/CNN) - Quality time between brothers went horribly wrong Monday inside a home in West Philadelphia.
Police say just before noon, a 19-year-old shot his 11-year-old brother in the chest. At this point, they still don’t know if it was on purpose or by accident.
“There’s always a chance it was an accident. We don’t have any indication one way or another,” acting Philadelphia police commissioner Christine Coulter said. “There were two people there. The brother will be interviewed. I would like to believe it was an accident, but it doesn’t change the results.”
Neighbors told police they heard a shot and then immediately saw the 19-year-old running around outside looking for help.
He then left the scene just before an officer arrived to find the 11-year-old in the dining room bleeding from the chest.
The officer rushed the boy to a hospital where police say he was pronounced dead during surgery.
Other officers soon found the 19-year-old a few blocks away and arrested him without incident. He and other family members were questioned by homicide detectives as a crime scene unit got to work.
Police recovered a semi-automatic handgun in the home but can't say yet who owns it.
Upset neighbors want to know more about why the teen and boy were in the home with an unsecured gun.
"Why was there a gun in the house with the children?” neighbor Paige Sydnor asked. “I'm lost. It doesn't make any sense."
Police say they're working on finding answers.
"These situations are preventable. They should never have a gun in a house with a child where it's not protected and secured. So, whether the gun is lawful or otherwise, it's absolutely preventable," Coulter stressed.
So far, no charges have been filed. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the 19-year-old was taken to the homicide division for questioning.
The Inquirer reports this is at least the fifth child killed by gunfire in the city in the past month and two others were critically injured by gunfire.