Death Investigation

(Elmo) -- A 9-month-old infant has died after suffering a gun shot wound to the head Monday morning in northwest Missouri.

According to the Nodaway County Sheriff's Office, a 5-year-old boy shot his 9-month-old brother around 8:58 a.m. at 101 S. Scott in Elmo. Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White tells KMA News the Sheriff's Office received a call from Alexis Wiederholt, the mother of the two children.

"It was actually transferred from Atchison County on the regular land line." White said. "It didn't come through 911. I personally took the call. A lady told me that she needed an ambulance. She said her 5-year-old son had shot her 9-month-old in the head with a paintball gun. We dispatched an ambulance and law enforcement to the house. It was determined that the 9-month-old had in fact been shot in the head with a .22 caliber magnum revolver."

White says the infant was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where he was pronounced dead.

"The child was flown from the scene to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City." White said. "I just, within the last 20 minutes, confirmed that the child did not survive his injuries. The baby was pronounced dead at Children's Mercy Hospital."

White adds the incident is highly unfortunate, and says gun owners both locally and nationwide should keep firearms located in secure places.

"Unfortunately you could probably go into any number of homes, not only in this county but throughout the country, and find handguns and long guns both loaded and unloaded that are within easy access to small children like that." White said. "We always think that nothing like that will ever happen to us. This just shows that it can happen and it does happen all the time."

White says the case is under investigation and at this point, foul play is not suspected.

"It appears to be an accidental shooting and of course it will be investigated thoroughly." White said. "I have been in contact with both our Prosecuting Attorney and the County Coroner so they know what's going on. Everything will flow as it normally does through all the proper channels."

The Nodaway County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Nodaway County Ambulance, Nodaway County Rescue, Clearmont Fire, and Life Net Air Ambulance at the scene.

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