A boy died after sustaining a bullet injury to his chest. The incident took place at Maryland Township, Illinois, on Wednesday (May 20).

Officers responded to reports of a young male child possibly being shot in the chest with a BB gun (air gun). However, when they arrived at the scene, officers discovered a boy with bullet injuries.

The 8-year-old victim was reportedly rushed to the hospital in an unresponsive state. Unfortunately, he was later pronounced dead.

According to the police, the shooting took place inside a home in the 2300 block of Maryland Township. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday (May 21) morning.

Amy Dotson, a spokesperson for Maryland Township, released a statement about the issue. She said the detectives determined that the shooting was accidental. However, they were unsure as to whether the child was holding the gun when he was shot or if it was in the possession of another child. They were also not sure about how the children found the gun. The identity of the child was not revealed.

Steve Slaughter, a local resident, said he witnessed "too much bloodshed" in what he referred to as a “once quiet neighborhood”.

"There's too many children being shot. Prayer meetings are nice, don't get me wrong. But people need to start taking responsibility for each other and watch out for our kids," said Slaughter.

"Children should not have access to firearms. Even if it's BB guns. It could be your kids next,” he added.

No arrests were made and the case was still under investigation.

The Peoria Police Department requested anyone with information about the incident to contact 309-673-4521 or CrimeStoppers anonymously at 30-673-9000.

In a similar incident, a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot himself dead at a home in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 14. The boy was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to the injuries. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the boy had shot himself in the head. A teenager was present in the home when the incident took place. The owner of the weapon was unknown and the case was being investigated by the city’s homicide and child abuse units.