Children shot dead playing with guns in separate incidents

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In February, a bullet stuck 20-month-old Taj Clark-Sparkman on O’Brien Street in North Charleston. Police say Clark-Sparkman and his brother were playing when they found a gun in the house. Reports show the brother fired the gun shooting Clark- Sparkman. In June, 5 months later, the 20-month-old died as a result of the gun shot wound.

Following the shooting, North Charleston Police arrested the victim’s cousin, 38-year-old Redante Young. Police say Young brought the gun inside the home. On February 23rd, he was charged with Possession of a Fire Arm During a Violent Crime. Young posted bond and was released from jail. He was arrested again in April on the same charge.

10 days after Clark- Sparkman’s death, a 6-year-old was pronounced dead following a shooting on Ranger Drive.

Police say the children were at home unattended when they found a gun. Reports say one of the children fired the gun striking a 6-year-old girl.

The shootings happened 3 blocks away from each other. Both children died in June.

Meghan Alexander founded Arm and Arm, a non partisan organization that promotes responsible gun ownership.

“I don’t think you can be parent and not be heartbroken when you hear something like this.”

Lieutenant Al Kuechler with the North Charleston Police Department says accidents can happen anywhere.

“If there are kids in the house, a loaded gun, and it’s not secured it is just as easy to go pick it up and use it accidentally.”

Lt. Kuechler adds that children often don’t understand the danger of fire arms.

“They’re attracted to guns and things through movies, television, video games and kids don’t realize once they pull that trigger they can’t pull the bullet back.”

Alexander and Kuechler urge gun owners to lock their weapons away in safe places out of reach of children.

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