9-year-old Canton boy dies after being shot in head by sister


CANTON — A 9-year-old boy who was shot in the head Wednesday after his 2-year-old sister found their mother’s gun under the seat of the car they were in has died, officials said.

Officials have confirmed the victim is Ashton Walden, a second-grader at Reuben B. Myers School of Arts and Sciences in Canton

“We are saddened to share the loss of our rising third-grader, Ashton Walden,” reads a Friday afternoon post on the Facebook page of the Reuben B. Myers School. “We ask that you please keep Ashton’s family and friends, along with the Reuben B. Myers family, uplifted during this difficult time.”

Walden had been listed in stable condition at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Wednesday afternoon but succumbed to his injuries Thursday, officials said.

Canton Police Chief Otha Brown said the incident occurred just before noon Wednesday when a mother, whose name has not yet been made public, left three children ages 2, 9 and 10 in a vehicle outside of a house she was visiting on Hargon Street in Canton.

“She keeps her weapon under her seat,” Brown said. “One of the children was able to get the weapon and shot another child. The 2-year-old shot the 9-year-old.”

Brown said no charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon and any possible charges would be pending an investigation.

“We know the mom is grieving right now, but we did express to her that at a later date she may be facing charges once we present everything to the district attorney’s office,” Brown said. “It would probably be a child neglect charge.”

Brown said parents should not leave young children unattended.

“If you have got a weapon, you sure need to place it away in safekeeping, maybe in a lockbox or something but not in the vehicle where a child can find it,” Brown said. “Our prayers go out to the family.”

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