ST. LOUIS — Police identified the 12-year-old boy whose brother accidentally shot and killed him Tuesday night in north St. Louis.
Officers responded to the 5600 block of Summit Place Tuesday night just before 7:45 and found 12-year-old Lafrance Johnson inside a home with a gunshot wound. Police believe Johnson’s 10-year-old brother accidentally shot him while holding onto a gun that fired.
“At some point in time, they got ahold of it and, as previously stated, just accidentally resulted in a tragic incident,” said St. Louis Police Major Ryan Cousins
Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said he lived at a different address from where the shooting took place.
A 36-year-old woman who said the shotgun belonged to her was taken into custody. Police said the woman is related to Johnson. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department applied for a warrant on a count of endangering the welfare of a child resulting in death.
Johnson was a sixth-grader at Selvidge Middle School, which is part of the Rockwood School District.
The school district released the following statement: “Our sincere thoughts and sympathies are with his family as well as the educators and friends who knew and loved LaFrance. We have assembled our crisis team at Selvidge Middle and will have counselors on hand this week for students and staff who will need assistance.”
The shooting comes days after a 12-year-old and 14-year-old were shot and killed in downtown St. louis. Police are investigating that incident as a murder-suicide. In February, a 12-year-old girl was wounded in an accidental self-inflicted shooting.
The St. Louis Police Department has partnered with the Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice to provide free gun locks to the community. The organization aims to reduce gun violence, accidental shootings, and suicides by firearms.
“If your children are going be at someone else’s home to play or visit, even when you’re there, it’s important to ask the other adults in the house if there are firearms in that home,” said Cathy Gilbert with Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice. “If so, are they properly secured?”
In Wednesday’s shooting, police believe that a parent was at home at the time. The department’s child abuse unit is handling the investigation.