At least seven members of the same family, including one child, were shot and killed in Piketon, Ohio, on Friday morning. The victims were found on a family compound in the rural southern Ohio county 80 miles east of Cincinnati.
Details about the incident are still unfolding, but a local pastor said that the shootings likely stemmed from a domestic dispute. According to the Pike County Sheriff, the child was a 16-year-old male.
Kids in the U.S. are shot with stunning frequency. A recent Harvard study of gun fatalities in 23 countries found that 91 percent of child gun deaths in 2010 occurred in the U.S. — a statistic all the more startling because, combined, the other countries have roughly twice the population of the U.S.
The killing is unrelenting. In just the past week, at least 33 kids ages 16 and under were shot, either unintentionally or on purpose, according to an analysis by The Trace of incidents recorded by the Gun Violence Archive. Thirteen died.
At least seven of the children who were shot and killed were five or younger.
Miracle Murray was one of three babies outside a home in Detroit on Monday when gunmen opened fire on the house from a passing car. Miracle was shot in her stroller. Her cousin drove her to the hospital, speeding through red lights, but it was too late. When Miracle arrived at the hospital 15 minutes later, doctors said they couldn’t help her.
Police officials say Miracle might have been targeted in retaliation for the Easter Sunday murder of a three-year-old child last month.
Most of the time when a child is shot in the U.S., the shooter is a family member. In the past week, at least four children were killed by their fathers.
On Monday morning in Seminole County, Florida, Henry Brown stabbed his wife, Chericia Brown, and ran her over with a car. Police stopped him as he tried to flee with his one-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. He fatally shot the children and then himself.
Earlier this year, a judge had granted an injunction to keep Brown away from his wife, determining that he posed an “immediate and present danger of domestic violence.” The order required that he turn over firearms to police. It is not clear whether police ever attempted to force him to do so.
At least two children died in accidental shootings. In Indianapolis, a two-year-old boy shot himself in the shoulder with a gun he found in his mother’s purse, which was on the kitchen counter. He was pronounced dead at a children’s hospital. Prosecutors are still deciding whether to pursue charges against the 23-year-old mother.
In Piketon on Friday afternoon, police were still searching for the shooter who slaughtered a family.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate, tweeted that the killings were “tragic beyond comprehension.”
[AP Photo/John Minchillo]