Valdosta boy accidentally shot and killed by brother -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta boy accidentally shot and killed by brother

By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Neighbors are in shock over the accidental death of a young Valdosta boy.

"It's mind boggling.  Truly, it was crazy. It was unexpected," says neighbor Victor Gray. 

Around 8 o'clock Monday night, seven-year-old Ali Gillard was killed after his ten-year-old brother accidentally shot him in the back of the head with a handgun they found in their home on Ponderosa Drive.

Commander Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department says, "We're deeply disturbed, due to the fact that this child was killed because of a handgun being left out and about."

Ali's brother told paramedics that his brother had fallen and hit his head.  Upon arriving at South Georgia Medical Center, it was discovered the boy had been shot.

He died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

"After we secured the home, we recovered the handgun via a search warrant," says Childress. 

News of the shooting left neighbors shaken.

"We found out is was a gunshot wound to the head. Hours later, when the police came with the crime scene tape and all that, we found out how really serious it was," says Victor Gray. 

Police say Ali's family members could face charges.

"We have a seven year old boy that's dead," says Childress.  "We absolutely, positively will not rule any charges here. This is still an ongoing criminal investigation."

There was no gun lock on the weapon.  The Valdosta police provide free locks to the community, and say there is no excuse for negligence. "Last night could have been prevented by just simply coming by and getting one of these gun locks," says Childress. 

Ali's ten year old brother is back home with his mother.  DFACS is investigating.

This is the second shooting on Ponderosa drive this year, but neighbors say they have never experienced a tragedy like this one.


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