In a tragic update, the 6-year-old New Jersey boy who was accidentally shot by his 4-year-old neighbor died on Tuesday.
Young Brandon Holt died at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, told The Star-Ledger.
It’s unclear if the young boy pulled the trigger or if the rifle fired accidentally.
Brandon and his 4-year-old neighbor were playing in the younger boy’s backyard in Toms River around 7 p.m. Monday night when the preschooler went into his house and brought out a loaded .22-caliber rifle and shot his neighbor in the head, authorities said Tuesday.
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A neighbor, and friend of Brandon’s family, said the boys were playing “pretend shooting” before the fatal incident.
Another neighbor said police removed several other weapons from the preschooler’s home, according to NJ.com.
"I'm angry about the dad that had these guns in the house," neighbor Debi Coto told NBC 4 New York. "They took more out last night."
Danella Magiera, the victim’s aunt, told NBC the bullet went through the back of Brandon’s head and lodged in his brain. He was rushed to the hospital, and doctors tried to keep the swelling down, she said.
The victim was shot from 15 yards away, said Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy.
No charges have been filed, but the investigation continues. Authorities are trying to determine if any of the younger boy’s family owned a permit for the weapon.
Authorities said the case had to be transferred to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office because there could be a potential conflict of interest with a relative of the shooter who might have a job in Ocean County law enforcement.
NBC added that the shooter and his two siblings have names associated with hunting terms.