A 5-year-old boy has died in Romania after his older brother apparently shot him by accidentwith an air rifle, authorities said.
The incident happened Monday afternoon at the edge of a forest in the northwest county of Mures, News.ro reported.
The two brothers, aged 5 and 8, were at a mountain cabin with their parents and other people near the village of Madaras, known for its lavender fields, and the village of Panet.
The eight-year-old found an unattended air rifle and began to play with it, police spokeswoman Emanuela Farcas said.
He then shot his younger brother in the chest. Someone dialed 112 and emergency officials arrived at the scene.
Medics tried to resuscitate the young boy but his injuries were too severe, the police spokeswoman said.
Emergency rescue official Maria Salanţa said an ambulance arrived 14 minutes after the call, but the boy suffered a heart attack. His lung was perforated and it appeared he’d been shot at close range, a doctor who treated him said.
Police in the city of Targu Mures are investigating the circumstances in which the incident happened.
Firearms ownership is relatively uncommon in Romania and shooting deaths are rare. Gun ownership laws are very tough.
The only categories of people which are legally entitled to carry a weapon are police, lawmakers, magistrates, some diplomats and people with self-defense permits .
From 2013 to 2018, some 54 people were shot by people and six died, APADOR,-CH a human rights association said.
In 2018, more than 45,000 police legally carried a gun.