Gun Shouldn't Have Been in the House, Uncle Says

Detectives are interviewing relatives

By Kim Vatis and Anthony Ponce
|  Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010  |  Updated 5:09 PM CDT
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A 5-year-old boy who likely doesn't have a full understanding of life and death shot and killed his twin brother while playing with a gun at home, family members said Tuesday.

A 5-year-old boy who likely doesn't have a full understanding of life and death shot and killed his twin brother while playing with a gun at home, family members said Tuesday.

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A 5-year-old boy who likely doesn't have a full understanding of life and death shot and killed his twin brother while playing with a gun at home, family members said Tuesday.

Jonathan Jackson, who was just two minutes and 39 seconds older than his brother, Jalen Jackson, was hit in the abdomen by a bullet and died shortly after 11 p.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital, on the city's West Side.

Tuesday would have been the boys' first day of kindergarten.

Their uncle said the gun involved in his nephew's accidental death belonged to another family member.  He wouldn't specify who, but said the family is cooperating with authorities.

"A family member had it in there," said Bruce Prince.  "I don't want to disclose who yet because we're still going through the process of getting a lawyer and getting that person turned in. He didn't have any malicious intent for leaving the gun in the house, but a 5-year-old lost his life."

Because the gun was apparently left unlocked and in a place where the twins could reach it, its owner may face criminal charges.

"I don't know how the judicial system works with that, but we plan to do the right thing and turn my family member in and try to go from there," said Prince.

It's unclear if the boys' mother was at the home, in the 700 block of South California Avenue, at the time of the shooting.

Investigators are calling the shooting an "accident," but anti-gun advocates call the incident another painful reminder of the dangers of keeping guns in the home.

"It's just unfortunate.  It's a lesson to be learned throughout the city and the nation," said community activist Andrew Holmes.

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