'Lock those guns up': 9-year-old boy critically injured after accidentally shooting himself

NOW: ’Lock those guns up’: 9-year-old boy critically injured after accidentally shooting himself

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- More than five Milwaukee children have accidentally shot themselves from May to October in 2021. Milwaukee police say a 9-year-old boy is in critical condition after accidentally shooting himself Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Officials say the victim obtained a firearm in a residence near 21st and Cornell around 5:38 p.m. and unintentionally shot himself. 

He was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

Police say a 31-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested.

Criminal charges will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office in the upcoming days.

"It's out of hand," Kevin Brown said. He is the community base crime reduction grant director of WestCare Wisconsin in Milwaukee. 

The organization gives out free gun locks, hoping to promote gun safety and protect the community. Brown says they've handed out at least 200 over the summer. 

"The community is asking for help. They are receiving the help through gun safety. They're receiving help through gun safety training with agencies that have all of those things available."

According to Milwaukee police, there were 57 non-fatal shootings involving juveniles last year. In 2021, that number jumped to 95. 

"It's important to lock those guns up, especially if you do not know how to use a gun. I don't care if you see your peers mishandling guns or if you think it's cool, it's not." Talia Johnson said. She is the the youth services coordinator. 

Gun locks are available at the group's location on Wright Street Monday to Friday, from 9-4 p.m.

Anyone in need of a gun lock may also contact their local district to check on the availability of free locks.

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