DEPUTIES: 4-Year-Old Kills Brother With Air Rifle

Two children playing with a loaded air rifle has ended with one of them dead.

Wilson County deputies say 7-year-old Alejandro Mejia and his younger brother were playing outside their home with the rifle Friday night.

Authorities tell WITN News the air rifle in question is a Daisy Powerline 35 and can shoot both BBs or pellets. It is still not known whether BBs or pellets were in the gun.

Sergeant Wanda Samuel says the parents knew the children were playing with the gun, but they're not sure whether the parents knew if it was loaded or not.

Samuel says the 4-year-old shot his brother in the chest at close range outside the home on Jaycross Road near Fremont. His father, Jose Mejia, took him to Wilson Medial Center where he died.

The family says the child was a first grader at Stantonsburg Elementary. The say Alejandro got the gun for a Christmas gift and was out shooting cans in the yard when the accident happened.

Both parents and three other children were home at the time.

Deputies say they are classifying it as an accidental shooting. The case has been reported to the Department of Social Services, and the sheriff's office is still investigating.

The air rifle involved in this case was loaded with BBs, according to the Medical Examiner.

This air rifle's muzzle velocity is much greater than a classic BB gun.

A classic BB gun has a muzzle velocity of 350 feet per second. An air rifle like the one used has a muzzle velocity of almost twice that, at 625 feet per second.

When fully pumped (ten times), it can have the power of a handgun, according to the sheriff.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by cj on Mar 1, 2011 at 09:18 AM
    a gun is a gun, period. no matter what type of projectile it fires. my son (10yrs) and i (bought 2 so we could shoot together) shoot airsoft pistols all the time. he wanted a bb gun, but the airsoft was a great way to teach him about firearm safety. he treats it as if it was a real firearm. because that's the only way i agreed to get it for him. shoots only at targets and only points the weapon down range. safety glasses, the whole works. then our neighbor, i think he is 8 gets the motherload of airsoft buns. he and his half brothers from other baby momma run around with them like they are toys. my neighbor is respectful with it, but his other siblings/cousins/friends are not. i guess the point is, although i trust how my child will handle a firearm, someone next door might not have the same respect. kids should be old enough and responsible enough to have these guns. and ultimately, it's up to the parents to teach them.
  • by Native Location: Grantsboro on Mar 1, 2011 at 06:25 AM
    To those that are not going to let your kids shoot their bb guns this weekend, listen, it was not a bb gun... It was a pump up pellet rifle. Don't take your kids bb gun. Teach them respect for the gun not fear of it.
  • by tod Location: 7 springs on Mar 1, 2011 at 03:01 AM
    so sad, rest in peace little one.Hope the brother never remembers it, the little Mexicans inmy hood tote box cutters or real guns. it is very sad. Anti gunners will use it to argue against guns, but child vaccines which the law mandates kill more kids. And vaccines are just the governments way of putting nanobots inside you to control you. Think the government cares about kids safety? how many school buses have seatbelts? Home school kids and teach them all how to use real guns properly before we all end up in concentration camps at the hands of our own government
  • by Contessa Location: ENC on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:34 PM
    This is a very sad and completely preventable story. Make no mistake, I am an advocate for firearms. I have guns in my home as well as two children. This is all about education and safety. My 14 year old is not allowed to handle any firearm without adult supervision. My weapons have trigger locks (which most SO's will hand out for free) and are kept put away. They are in easy access to me and me alone. They have both (8 and 14) handled guns since they were old enough to know what one was. They were taught the proper way to handle them. They also have seen what happens when you shoot something. A melon explodes nicely and gives them a visual of what will happen if you point this at a person and pull the trigger. People, PLEASE be responsible with your weapons and your children. EDUCATION is everything.
  • by THINK Location: washington on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:09 PM
    this is very sad , so sorry. people will use this to push more gun control but, you know he could have died so many ways, a fall playing, a bike accident, they could have been working on something and have an accident with a hammer just as easy. what about the other hundreds of 4&7 year olds that did this and were never injured and had a great time and got better with their aim for future use to get some food. I'll bet they would disagree with alot of us. and I'll bet the parents did not feel neglectful, but like they were helping their children to prepare for their future, not wanting to harm them. who are we to stop all the good over one or two accidents.??? Will we stop all driving because we know of all the accidents???
  • by Richard Location: edenton on Feb 28, 2011 at 09:21 PM
    Leave the picture up. His legacy will be to prevent this from happening to someone else. America is so PC.
  • by Just sayin... on Feb 28, 2011 at 07:27 PM
    This is a news sight, to comment on how we feel about the story. And to all of the do gooders, yes accidents happen everyday, BUT... this accident was caused by ignorance and lack of supervison by the ADULTS. What moron gives a 4 year old and 7 year old a BB gun and tells them to go play in the backyard? Charges should be filed against the parents.
  • by Anon on Feb 28, 2011 at 06:25 PM
    My son wanted a BB gun for as long as I can remember. When he was 9 I made him take the hunting safety course. I took it with him. He was the youngest in his class! He even passed the exam! These classes are free(call to be sure, its been a few years) in Beaufort County @ Goose Creek State Park. You can even get the info from Wal-Mart about them. Now he is 12 and I am still supervising him with his BB gun. I do feel very sorry for this family. They have lost a child who was so young, your family is in my prayers.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 28, 2011 at 06:11 PM
    To Anon at 6:27 - if you don't like what you are reading? Don't read it - dummy.
  • by Rina Location: OBX on Feb 28, 2011 at 06:01 PM
    This is very sad- all the bashing is even sadder- Every day each and one of you harm your loved ones and self- Do the research on the shots You get your babies- the food You feed them- The toxic chemicals you use to clean- The air you all pollute along w/our waters--- Black ,white, yellow ,pink You're all in on it---- Fast food for a treat -- high fives to ya all-- keep running your mouths and corrupting our world-
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