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      Investigators: 7-year-old fatally shot at birthday party by 5-year-old

      Investigators: 7-year-old fatally shot at birthday party by 5-year-old

      LEXINGTON (WACH) â?? Investigators say a 7-year-old was accidentally shot and killed after a 5-year-old reached for a loaded rifle.

      According to Lexington County Sheriff James Metts, the children were attending a family birthday party on Saturday, April 12 around 8:00pm. The children were playing in the front yard of the home, while the parents were in the backyard.

      The mother of the 5-year-old unlocked the vehicleâ??s trunk so that her son could retrieve a toy handgun. The 5-year-old accidentally grabbed the loaded rifle, causing the gun to discharge one bullet.

      One bullet from a rifle exited out of the trunk of a vehicle, with bullet fragments striking a 7-year-old girl in her chest, and striking a 5-year-old in his right forearm.

      The 7-year-old died as a result; the 5-year-old is recovering from the wound to his arm.

      The mother told detectives that she was unaware that the rifle was stored in the vehicleâ??s trunk.

      Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident. It has not yet been determined whether any criminal charges will be filed in connection with the shooting incident.

      Metts asked anyone who attended the birthday party at the home near Gaston or anyone who has information about the shooting incident to contact the Lexington County Sheriffâ??s Department at (803) 785-2830 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.