GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — An 8-year-old child is suspected of shooting a relative who is a year younger in Goldsboro late Sunday morning, police said.
The incident was reported around 11:45 a.m. along Fairview Circle, which is just off Royall Avenue, according to a news release from Goldsboro police.
“Responding officers located a 7-year-old juvenile suffering from a single gunshot wound to the torso area,” the news release said.
An 8-year-old relative accidentally shot the child, police said.
The wounded child was taken to UNC Health Wayne and then airlifted to ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville.
“Investigators and crime scene specialists from Goldsboro Police Department’s Investigative Services Bureau responded to the scene,” the news release said.
On Sunday, police did not release the condition of the child who was shot.
“I know things happen, but I wish they could have been in a place where they couldn’t have gotten into it at all,” said Marquise Lawrence who lives in Goldsboro.
Lawrence was with his three young boys at a nearby park riding four-wheelers.
“This is not the first time where something like this has happened… You have to take necessary precautions to prevent things like this from happening.”
Police said investigators are actively working on gathering information about the shooting.
Mark Colebrook, founder of Operation Unite Goldsboro, said he hopes to address the concern of gun violence and gun safety during an upcoming roundtable discussion with county, community and school board leaders.
After a peak year of gun violence, Colebrook said, “We were really focusing on people hurting each other and killing each other and now that it has reached the younger kids, now we have to take a look at accountability and gun safety.”
Colebrook said the death of a 14-year-old who was shot at H.V. Brown Park in Goldsboro a week ago has also fueled the need for the conversation.
During the past four years, Colebrook said he has worked with law enforcement to get guns off the street through awareness and events.
“We could end up with a situation in Virginia where a 6-year-old took a gun to school,” said Colebrook. “We have to make sure that we do everything in our power to keep our kids safe. To me, this was a preventable thing.”