Kentucky (WSYR-TV) -- Family friends in Cumberland County, Kentucky are mourning the tragic death of a two-year-old girl who was accidentally shot and killed by her five-year-old brother.
Kentucky State Police were called to the scene of the shooting Wednesday afternoon on Lawson Bottom Road in Burkesville. Police say, two-year-old Caroline Sparks was shot and it was her five-year-old brother, Christian, who pulled the trigger.
A close family friend, Monica Pepper was with the Sparks family minutes after the shooting. She says Christian was not playing with the gun before his mother left the room.
“She just stepped out for a second. She set the mop bucket down and heard the gun go off. The child didn't have the gun in his hand when she was in there with him. She would have never walked outside," Pepper said.
The gun was given to Christian as a gift. Pepper says his dad was teaching him to hunt and properly use a gun.
Wanda Cole works at Sprouse Grocery Store down the road. She calls herself Caroline’s grandmother, even though she isn’t blood related. She received several calls just seconds after she saw an ambulance speeding toward the house.
"The only person I could think of was her, but I didn't say anything. I couldn't believe that could happen," Cole said. "I am deeply saddened by this for the family, for everyone. It has affected everyone."
Caroline was taken to the Cumberland County Hospital where the coroner pronounced her dead.
"It's hard to accept that this tragic accident has happened," Cole continued. "They are the most loving, most giving, most Christian people I know. They are a very family-oriented family."
Cole says the family doesn’t know how they are going to move forward.