Cumberland County Toddler Shot and Killed After Tragic Accident

By Lauren Forsythe | 

Around 1:30 yesterday afternoon Kentucky State Police were called to a shooting on Lawson Bottom Rd. in Burkesville.

Police say, 2-year-old Caroline Sparks was shot and it was her five-year-old brother, Christian, who pulled the trigger.

A close family friend, Monica Pepper was with the Sparks family minutes after the shooting.

She says Christian was not playing with the gun before his mother left the room.

"She just stepped out for a second. She set the mop bucket down and heard the gun go off. The child didn't have the gun in his hand when she was in there with him. She would have never walked outside," she says.

The gun was given to Christian as a gift.

Pepper says his dad was teaching him to hunt and properly use a gun.

Wanda Cole works at Sprouse Grocery Store down the road from the house.

She calls herself Caroline's grandmother, even though she isn't blood related.

She received several calls just seconds after she saw an ambulance speeding toward the house.

"The only person I could think of was her, but I didn't say anything. I couldn't believe that could happen," she says.

"I am deeply saddened by this for the family, for everyone. It has affected everyone," Pepper says.

Caroline was taken to the Cumberland County Hospital where the coroner pronounced her dead.

"The feelings of last night was horrible. Just horrible, just truly a horror," Pepper says, "They are the most loving most giving most Christian people I know. They are a very family-oriented.... family."

"It's hard to accept that this tragic accident has happened," Cole says.

Close family friends say the family doesn't know how they are going to move forward.

Police say it's too early in the investigation to decide if any charges will be filed.

There are no Kentucky laws prohibiting children from possessing or using long-barrel guns.

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