"He may have picked up the wrong weapon thinking that it was a toy," the boys' uncle said

By Tara Fowler
March 03, 2015 03:00 PM

A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 6-year-old brother just outside of Houston, Texas, on Monday morning, authorities say.

The 6-year-old, identified only as Hayden, was taken to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach, KHOU reports.

“He was transported and immediately taken into surgery,” Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Thomas Gilliland told the news station. “What I can tell you is he’s critical but stable and was conscious as he went into surgery.”

Deputies told KPRC that investigators are looking into how the child got hold of the deadly weapon.

Police say they found a toy gun on the family’s front lawn. “He may have picked up the wrong weapon thinking that it was a toy,” Thomas Gray, the boys’ uncle, told KHOU. “But this weapon was not a toy and it was a real gun and he actually pointed it at my other nephew and fired it.”

He added: “We have a safe in here. So I have no idea if it was in the safe or we were walking around with it and set it down somewhere. I have no idea.”

This is the third shooting incident in the area involving a child since Friday, when a 3-year-old accidentally killed himself. On Saturday, a 4-year-old also died after shooting himself with a loaded handgun.

All three cases are being investigated.