HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- An 8-year-old boy was shot and killed by his sibling during a "tragic situation" in northwest Harris County, according to the sheriff's office.
EDIT NOTE: The Harris County Sheriff's Office initially said the child who died was 10 years old. They later updated the information about the ages of the siblings. ABC13's current article reflects the current facts from authorities.
The incident happened at the Bear Creek Apartments in the 5500 block of Timber Creek Place at about 3 p.m. Monday, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said it happened inside the apartment's only bedroom when the 8-year-old was alone with his two older siblings, who are 10 and 13 years old.
Preliminary information states that the 10-year-old was handling a shotgun when it went off and hit the 8-year-old in the upper torso area.
First responders pronounced the child dead at the scene, according to investigators.
According to deputies, the older sibling was not injured at the time of the shooting.
The family who lives there is believed to have just moved to the Houston area from Venezuela a few months prior and were in the process of getting the siblings enrolled in school.
Deputies said it was unclear if the shotgun was already loaded or if the siblings had loaded it. It is under investigation at this time.
Gonzalez said this "preventable" situation is an unfortunate reminder of what can happen when guns aren't safely stored.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office offers free gun locks to residents. To receive a free public safety-related item, fill out the form on their website.
Other agencies across the state also offer similar resources. Visit Project ChildSafe to see more safety kits.