Independence police investigate death of a child found fatally shot Sunday

·2 min read

A child was fatally shot Sunday night in an Independence home after a firearm was left unsecured in the residence, authorities said.

Police were called to the home in the 200 block of East Walnut Street on a reported shooting shortly after 9 p.m., the Independence Police Department announced Monday. Officers learned upon arriving that a child had been shot. The child was taken to an area hospital and died.

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Few details about the surrounding circumstances were publicly shared by police Monday. And police did not disclose any identifying information about the child, only saying the investigation involved a “juvenile.”

In a statement on Twitter referencing the case, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said “a child’s life ended” apparently as a result of a firearm being accessible to the child.

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The Independence Police Department, the lead police agency, has so far classified the matter as a shooting death investigation as opposed to a homicide.

Officer Jack Taylor, a department spokesman, declined to answer The Star’s questions about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. He referred all inquiries to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Michael Mansur, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said in an email Monday that no criminal charges had yet been filed against anyone.

Mansur added that the specifics of the Independence case remain uncertain. But generally speaking, he said, the prosecutor’s office has filed criminal charges in past cases where an unsecured gun leads to a child being harmed or harming another person.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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