MOBILE, Ala. -- Authorities charged a 13-year-old boy with criminally negligent homicide after he allegedly shot a 3-year-old in the head while playing, killing the youngster, authorities said Thursday.
The two children were playing at a residence in Grand Bay when the older child hid in a closet and discovered an air rifle, the Mobile County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The older youth emerged from the closet and pulled the trigger, striking the 3-year-old near the right eye, news outlets reported.
The teen initially claimed the child had fallen and struck his head, but he later said they were playing “cops and robbers” and he fired not realizing the weapon was loaded, news outlets reported.
The shooting happened late Wednesday, and the youngster died at a hospital before dawn Thursday.
Charged as a juvenile, the teen was placed in a youth detention facility, authorities said.