Two boys under age 13 were handling a gun inside a home on Lanier Driver when it discharged, killing one of them early Saturday evening, authorities said.

Standing outside the house in the 3700 block of Lanier Drive where the shooting happened, authorities stressed the need to keep guns secure so they don't end up in the hands of children. 

“We need to make sure these guns are in a safe place,” Baton Rouge Police Department Deputy Chief Robert McGarner Jr. said. “We also need to be checking these kids’ rooms and make sure they don’t have weapons in it.”

McGarner said he could not confirm the exact ages of the two boys Saturday evening but that both were below the age of 13.

District Attorney Hillar Moore III, also at the scene, said firearm owners must be aware of the dangers posed by guns left unsecured in homes.

“I think this kind of continues to beg the question about owner responsibility,” Moore said. “Louisiana doesn’t have an owner responsibility law. Whether that’s the right thing to do or not, it has to be debated by the Legislature and then by the people.”

He added: “This is not an anti-gun message, but when you have a gun that’s left behind and not secure, these things happen. We see this summer after summer, year after year, young kids get in touch with guns, and they’re curious.”

Saturday evening, a group of family members sobbed and comforted each other across the street from the home where the shooting took place.

Distraught family members at the scene who were approached by a reporter indicated that they did not wish to talk about the incident.

“Just pray for that mother and that family,” McGarner said.

Other details in the case are still under investigation.


Follow Jacqueline DeRobertis on Twitter, @jmderobertis.