POWERVIEW, Man. - A Manitoba reserve is in mourning after a nine-year-old boy was shot dead by his 14-year-old brother.
RCMP say the two boys were at home Thursday night on the Sagkeeng First Nation, 145 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, when the shooting occurred.
The nine-year-old boy was taken to hospital with upper body injuries, but was pronounced dead on arrival. RCMP say they continue to investigate.
Band Councillor Derrick Henderson said the death was an accident and the close-knit community is devastated.
“It's just so tragic,” said Henderson, who is friends with the boy's family. “It's even hard for me to understand, to try to understand.”
Henderson said guns are not uncommon in the community.
“Being aboriginal people, we do live off hunting and fishing,” he said. “People do go out and hunt and trap and fish. It is our livelihood. People do have firearms in their homes.”
The shooting, which happened while the parents were home, underscores the importance of keeping all guns locked away from curious children, he said.
A Facebook page for the reserve, which is also known as Fort Alexander, called it “another sad tragedy in our community.”
“The news of tragedy will not spread as fast as the pain,” the page reads.
The boy's death comes on the heels of another loss. Earlier this week, two men were charged in the beating death of a 41-year-old Sagkeeng man.
Mounties say Eugene Robert Fontaine died of blunt force trauma after an argument at a home on the reserve Monday. His body was found in a shed behind the home.