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Neighbors of 13-year-old who died, question how he had access to loaded gun

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Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 9:13 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:28 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A 13-year-old is dead after a shooting in a Columbia apartment complex around 11 p.m. Sunday, according to the Columbia Police Department.

The Columbia Police Department says they believe a 13-year-old male and a young friend were handling a firearm at Harbison Garden Apartments when the incident occurred.

Investigators are now looking for answers on how the teen had access to the gun, and neighbors say these kinds of incidents have to stop.

“That’s my biggest concern. Where did they get the gun? That’s my biggest question as a parent. Where did they get the gun from? Why were they playing with it? Why was it loaded?,” a Harbison Garden resident, Ricardo Gilbert said.

Gilbert says he thought the incident was a domestic dispute at first but is now stunned to know it was a 13-year-old. A piece of yellow tape is all that’s left of the crime scene.

Just recently, eight school districts and 11 law enforcement agencies joined together and signed a memorandum for the “Be Smart” program, which educates parents on gun safety.

“My heart goes out to the parents after another tragic death of a young person. What’s even more sad is that it’s preventable,” another Harbison Garden resident, Sarah Venn said.

The name of the victim has not yet been released and police have not said if the gun was properly secured and locked away.

The shooting is still under investigation by CPD.

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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