BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) - A young child was killed late Tuesday night as the result of a single gunshot to the head, the Belleville Police Department said.
According to Detective Mark Heffernan, a police spokesman, officers and EMS responded to a residence in the first block of North 98th Street Tuesday at 10:55 p.m. in reference to a child being shot. EMS transported the victim, 11-year-old boy Leonard Smith Jr. of East St. Louis, to Belleville Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police say the gun was unlocked inside the home, and a 6-year-old accidentally shot Smith in the head. They say the there is a relationship between the two boys, but will not elaborate.
The 6-year-old lives at the home where the shooting took place. Other children witnessed the shooting.
Smith was visiting the home with other family relatives. Police say there was some sort of family gathering going on at the time of the shooting. The adults were on the first floor of the home and Smith, the 6 year old and other kids were in an upstairs bedroom.
Police tell us the gun is most likely a family member's, but that family member was not at the house at the time of the shooting. Detective Heffernan says a person living at the home was holding onto the handgun for a family member.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has been notified of the accident, which is standard procedure.
No one is in custody in this case and Belleville police are not seeking a suspect, Heffernan said.
Additional information may be released after the case is reviewed by the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office.