TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Funeral services were held Saturday for Brandon Holt, the 6-year-old New Jersey boy who authorities say was accidentally shot by a 4-year-old playmate.
Dozens of mourners filled St. Joseph’s Church in Toms River on Saturday to remember Brandon, who died Tuesday, a day after he was shot.
The Asbury Park Press of Neptune reported green ribbons were tied around nearby trees — representing Brandon’s favorite color — and many mourners wore green ribbons or green attire to honor the boy’s memory.
Police said Brandon was shot in the head by his friend after the younger boy went into his home on McCormick Avenue in Toms River and somehow got his hands on a .22-caliber rifle. Though authorities said they are not sure how the 4-year-old obtained the gun, sources told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Tuesday that the boy found the rifle under a bed.
Police said the 4-year-old then went outside and accidentally shot the 6-year-old, who was sitting in a quad nearby.
It’s unclear if he pulled the trigger or if the rifle accidentally discharged. The 4-year-old boy’s parents were home at the time of the incident, police said.
“The parents [of the 4-year-old] were in the yard nearby, at which point a shot went out,” Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said earlier this week.
Several other weapons were removed from the 4-year-old’s family’s home, investigators told CBS 2’s Sloan.
New Jersey gun owners who know minors could have access to them are required by law to properly secure the guns, Sloan reported. Securing methods could include using a container box or a trigger lock. Failing to do so could lead to disorderly persons offense, a misdemeanor, Sloan reported.
No charges have been filed so far, but the matter remains under investigation.
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