A Georgia family is grieving the loss of a boy, 6, who accidentally shot himself with a gun he found behind his apartment building.
Tara Olmstead told authorities her son followed her outside as she let a dog out around 3 a.m. on Nov. 5 in their housing development in Calhoun, Georgia, 70 miles outside of Atlanta.
Olmstead said her son, Zi Zi Olmstead went behind the building and returned to the apartment saying he had found a “toy.” She did not think anything of it until she heard a “pop,” according to reports.
Olmstead ran back inside the apartment and found Zi Zi with a gunshot to the head. Police recovered a 9 mm Taurus next to his body. The investigation is still pending, but authorities confirmed that the injury was self-inflicted. Zi Zi was pronounced dead at the scene.
Atlanta Black Star reached out to Zi Zi’s family for comment, but did not immediately get a response.
The boy’s grandmother, Deborah Jean Perkins, said the incident was a “horrible accident.”
“This is a very hard time for my daughter and our family,” Perkins wrote on Facebook on Nov. 17.
Zi Zi had two brothers who also lived in the home.
“She is suffering and having a hard time as well as I and the rest of our family,” Perkins continued.
Calhoun City Schools superintendent Michele Taylor said in a statement students in the district are “heartbroken” over the boy’s death.
“He was loved by his classmates, friends, teachers and staff members,” Taylor said. “We continue to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Perkins has created an online fundraiser to get her daughter some help with funeral costs and additional expenses.
Firearms are the leading cause of death among children 1 to 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 4,368 children died by gunfire in 2020.