Boy, 7, Pieces Together His Parents' Gun and Shoots His 8-Year-Old Sister

A seven-year-old boy accidentally shot his eight-year-old sister in the arm after he managed to open a lock box and put together a dismantled gun.

Police say the youngster inadvertently fired at his sister while playing with the weapon at home in the West Oak Lane area of Philadelphia at around 10.40am on Thursday.

The gun was stored in a lock box at the home of the children's grandparents, but the boy managed to get hold of the keys, open it up and put it together.

The two children were in the little girl's bedroom on the first floor of the property when the boy began playing with the gun, triggering it to fire a shot into the girl's arm.

On hearing the shot the girl's grandparents came to her assistance, put the gun away and took her to the hospital emergency ward at Einstein Medical Centre with non-life-threatening injuries.

She has since been transferred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, but medical staff say she remains in a stable condition.

The boy, who cannot been identified, was later seen being led into the police station.

According to abc Lt. George McClay of the Philadelphia Police said: 'The kid is very shook up. He's not happy with what he did and he knows he did something wrong.'

Friends and neighbors say this is a tight-knit family and their thoughts are with them at this time.

'They're a wonderful family. Really, they're just a close-knit family and I know this was an accident," said family friend Beverly Jackson.

While precautions were taken, police say there are better ways to secure your weapons from curious children.

'You have digital safes, things like that. You make sure kids don't know the combination. That's the best way to do it.'

The gun was registered, police say, and while the investigation continues it does not appear any charges will be filed.

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By Erin B 12/07/2012 08:58:00