Six-year-old Millie Drew Kelly has died after being accidentally shot by her four-year-old brother.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at 5:47 p.m. on Monday, April 8, in the tiny community of Dallas, Georgia, a suburb located 32 miles northwest of Atlanta. According to Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Millie’s mother Courtney was taking the children to a baseball game when her car, parked in the family’s driveway, refused to start.
Mrs. Kelly had exited the car to determine the problem, when Millie’s younger brother discovered the loaded gun in the center console and discharged it, accidentally shooting Millie on the right side of the head. Paramedics immediately transported Millie to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where she succumbed to her injuries on April 11.
“They were all loaded up to leave the home and the car wouldn’t start.Their mother hopped out to find the source of the problem, and somehow the young boy got hold of a handgun.That is when she heard the shot. As you can imagine, the mom was frantic,”Paulding Sherriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ashley Henson explained.
“Our hearts break for this family and we hope God puts his healing hands around them during this difficult time.” Sheriff Gary Gulledge said on the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page. “We want to remind everyone to keep their firearms unloaded and secured in an area away from children to ensure that this never happens again.”
A July 2017 study in Pediatrics discovered that approximately 1,300 U.S. children die from gunshot wounds annually while an average of 5,790 are wounded.”The shooter playing with a gun was the most common circumstance surrounding unintentional firearm deaths of both younger and older children,” the authors said.
Another study published in the December 20, 2018 New England Journal of Medicine reviewed U.S. childhood deaths during 2016. The authors’ research revealed that the second-greatest cause of death in children is due to firearms. Childhood gun deaths are 36 times higher in the United States compared to the twelve other “high developed” countries. There were 4.02 deaths per 100,000 kids in the U.S., versus 0.11 deaths in the other countries.
A GoFundMe account was set up to help the family defray expenses and has raised nearly $37,000 and been shared 6,400 times online. The page went on to say that Millie Drew Kelly’s organs were donated “to continue to show the love of Jesus, whom she loved with everything that she had.”