A 2-year-old boy has died after being accidentally shot by his 4-year-old brother on Tuesday morning in Louisa County.
The 2-year-old was identified as Tyler Aponte on Tuesday afternoon.
The sheriff's office says the mother was at home, near East Old Mountain Road, at the time of the shooting, which was around 10:45 a.m., and that the 4-year-old thought the gun was a toy. He accidentally fired the gun, shooting his brother in the chest once.
Aponte was flown to UVA Medical Center where he died.
Neighbors were in shock to learn about the tragedy. Linda Eddy, who has lived across the road from the family for close to 20 years, said the little boys were sweet, friendly and lived with their parents and two teenage brothers.
"There's no way they would leave a loaded gun out," said Eddy. "They're good people, good Christians. They love their children and would give anything to them."
Eddy remembers when the boy's mother told her she was pregnant with Tyler, who Eddy knew as Ty. She says Ty and his 4-year-old brother enjoyed coming to her house and playing with toy cars and trucks.
"We loved Ty," she said.
Tuesday morning, Eddy says she saw a heavy police presence in their quiet rural neighborhood. When she went to the house to see what was going on, she said the boys mother had fallen to her knees on the ground, overcome with emotion.
"Her and her husband both went down on their knees when he got here, it's terrible." Eddy said. "I'm here if they need anything. I love y'all, and it's nothing I wouldn't do for y'all."
The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate and determine how the 4-year-old got the gun in the first place.
"Right now, our thoughts and prayers are with the family," said Major Donald Lowe, with the Louisa County Sheriff's Office."This is a devastating, tragic, incident for this to happen."
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