Kentucky Girl Caroline Sparks, 2, Accidentally Shot Dead by 5-Year-Old Brother
A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in rural southern Kentucky on Tuesday.
Kristian Sparks was playing with a .22 rifle he received as a gift last year when he accidentally shot his sister Caroline once in the chest at around 1 p.m. outside their family’s home in Lawson’s Bottom, Cumberland County.
The children’s mother, Stephanie Sparks, was nearby when the tragic accident occurred. She had just stepped onto the front porch of the family’s mobile home while cleaning the kitchen when “she heard the gun go off,” according to the local coroner.
Caroline was rushed to Cumberland County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Phelps said Caroline “was not only Chris and Stephanie’s daughter and Kristian’s little sister, but a child who was loved by many, many family members and friends, and was a beautiful child of our community.”
“Burkesville is the type of community that when something like this happens, everybody comes together,” local resident Vickie Temple told Kentucky.com. “That’s just how our community is when something tragic happens.”
The .22 Crickett rifle Kristian shot his sister with is marketed to children as “my first rifle.” The gun was reportedly kept in a corner of the family’s mobile home, and according to the Associated Press, Kristian’s parents did not realize there was a bullet in it.
“Down in Kentucky where we’re from, you know, guns are passed down from generation to generation,” Cumberland County Coroner Gary White told the AP. “You start at a young age with guns for hunting and everything.”
“It’s a normal way of life, and it’s not just rural Kentucky, it’s rural America — hunting and shooting and sport fishing. It starts at an early age,” Phelps added. “There’s probably not a household in this county that doesn’t have a gun.”
Kentucky State Trooper Bill Gregory said the shooting is being treated as an accident. Gregory did not know whether any charges would be filed.
“I think it’s too early to say whether there will or won’t be,” he told the AP.
Tagged 5-year-old shoots sister, accidental shooting, boy shoots sister, Caroline Sparks, Caroline Sparks Burkesville, Caroline Sparks Kentucky, Crickett .22, gun deaths, Kristian and Caroline Sparks, Kristian Sparks