BERKELEY, Mo. – Two families are coping with tragedies. A 7-year-old was accidentally shot and killed in Berkeley. Hours later in Belleville, a 5-year-old suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the face.

As the effects of guns plague two communities, the father of the 7-year-old is speaking out about the loss of his son.

“I feel like he don’t deserve that. It should’ve just been me instead of him,” Deontrell Macon said.

A young boy is dead, and a father is in mourning.

The child was playing with an unsecured gun inside a truck parked at the Mint Townhomes, when he accidentally shot himself.

“A lot of police cars,” Ajah Shurn, a resident at the complex, said.

Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital said they’ve treated 28 children for gunshot wounds this year alone. Some of those, the same case as what Macon describes, simply tragic accidents.

“It was an accident,” Macon said.

Macon said he was asleep upstairs when his son died. The 7-year-old’s grandfather, Macon’s father, had been watching the child before the boy made his way outside and into the grandfather’s unlocked truck. Macon said his father’s gun was on the front seat.

“This is a problem that we’re seeing with respect to not only gun violence and accidental gun shootings,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said. “We’re seeing this way too often. A significant portion of the cases we’re seeing typically involve gun violence; there’s a percentage—probably around 15%—are accidental shootings like this, and it’s too many.”

Meanwhile, across the river in Illinois, a 5-year-old girl was shot to death less than a block away from the Belleville Police Department. Crime scene tape was rolled out shortly after 6:30 p.m. in the first block of South 88th Street, according to locals.

“I heard screams and I walked outside … but I didn’t know what happened,” said Tamara Caldwell.

Her neighbor, Vanessa Stellern, said they often see several kids at the house.

“There’s always three or four little children playing out in the front yard together,” Stellern said.

Assistant Chief Mark Heffernan, Belleville Police Department, said the child was rushed to Memorial Hospital but could not be saved.

The shooting remains under investigation, Heffernan said.