Study: Nearly 75% of accidental shootings occur at home

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KTVI) - The majority of St. Louis children injured or killed by firearms are African-American boys from low-income families. The median age of these children is 15 years old.

These statistics are the result of a five year study published by Dr. Martin Keller. Keller is the director of trauma at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Dr. Keller spoke with Fox 2 this morning to discuss the results of this survey and the factors causing this trend.

The study gathered data from 2008 to 2013 in St. Louis. Of 398 children treated during that time, approximately 78 percent were African-American. About 82 percent of all firearm injuries, including deaths, occurred among boys.

Thirty-five percent of the injuries resulted from accidental shootings, with the remaining injuries caused by assaults. Nearly 75 percent of accidental shootings occurred in the home. Of those, almost 38 percent were self-inflicted, and about 40 percent were caused by people the victims knew.

Fifteen also was the median age of victims injured in shootings designated as assaults. Most victims of accidental shootings, on the other hand, were younger, with a median age of 12.5 years.

"This shows that accidental shootings can happen anywhere," Keller said. "No community is immune."

The majority of these shootings were from handguns.