WESTWEGO (WWL)– An accidental shooting inside a home in the 9200 block of East Claiborne in Bridge City left a 14-year-old girl dead and her 15-year-old brother in jail charged with negligent homicide.
The shooting occurred shortly after midnight Friday morning and left neighbors in the Claiborne Gardens subdivision with more questions than answers.
“You’ve got a 15-year-old carrying a gun for what,” asked neighbor Alkia White. “What’s the sense of them carrying a gun? For protection? Fifteen years old! What you get into that you got to carry a gun?”
According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the teenager and his sister were in her bedroom when the 9-millimeter handgun he was handling discharged, striking her in the head.
Detectives say the teenager ran into his grandmother’s bedroom in a panic, telling her he accidentally shot his sister.
His sister, Jasmine Anderson, was taken to University Medical Center where she later died.
The unidentified 15-year old told deputies he bought the semi-automatic weapon on the street “for protection.”
The shooting prompted neighbor Angelean Sparks to talk with her great-grandson, Jaden, about the dangers of being around guns.
“Don’t go to nobody’s house with guns,” she told him. “You need to be careful where you go.”
Jaden got the message.
“To not play with guns or to not go by nobody with guns because I might get killed,” 9-year-old Jaden Sparks said.
This is the second accidental shooting death on the Westbank of JP in as many weeks.
Last Thursday, Trennan Robinson was shot and killed by a 16-year-old friend in an apartment in the 2400 block of Alex Korman Boulevard in Harvey.
Robinson’s cousin, Wanda James, said the shootings are a wake-up call.
“The community needs to get together and get these guns off the street from these kids,” James said. “I mean, we’re losing babies. These ain’t no grown-ups, we’re losing our youth.”
James added the family will bury Robinson on Saturday.
“It’s time to get your life together,” James said. “It’s time for you all to put the guns down. It’s time. If you got a gun in your house, put a lock on it.”
Back in Bridge City, neighbors are shocked and heartbroken at this latest shooting involving a teenager.
“I almost wanted to cry,” Isaac Sparks said. “I have an 11-year-old myself and you know, I wouldn’t want anything bad like that to happen to him.”
“You know, check your kids because every time I turn around somebody’s child is accidentally shooting another child,” Alkia White said. “If it’s not a sibling, it’s somebody else.”
The 15-year-old accused in this latest shooting was taken the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Detention Center in Harvey.