7-year-old went upstairs to look for candy – but found a gun instead, family says

Family members are still struggling to explain to their 7-year-old that his older brother Jermon will never be coming back home.

It was Saturday afternoon when police said three brothers were on the second floor of their St. Louis home as the adults worked downstairs, Suddenly, a call came in to police: shots fired.

They rushed to the house to find 7-year-old Jermon Perry lying semi-conscious . He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but died several hours later.

Erica Jones, a close friend who is acting as a spokesperson for the family, Jermon’s younger brother had found the gun in their parents’ bedroom while looking for candy. “[The mom] normally hides candy from them so they don’t go in there and eat it all,” Jones told the paper.

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She told KSDK “We‘re not good. I can’t say that this is something that any parent would want to endure,” Jones told the station. “It’s not easy especially when you got to tell a child that, the gun was not a toy.”

The gun, which was holstered and stored inside a dresser drawer, belongs to Jermon’s father, who has a concealed carry permit, .“He never thought the kids would get to the gun,” she told the paper.

“This is heartbreaking, this is heartbreaking. I can’t imagine how this mother feels you know, his sisters or his brothers,” .

the surviving brothers are still having trouble processing the fact that Jermon is gone.

“They are asking, ‘Where is he at’?” she told the paper. “They are asking if ‘Mon Mon’ is coming home from the hospital today. They are not understanding that he is not coming home.”

No charges have been filed in the case,.

More than 1,000 children are treated in the U.S. each year for accidental gunshot injuries, Another 4,500 also receive treatment for assaults, suicides, homicides and other shooting-related causes, and about 1,300 children die from those injures, the study found.

A 2016 report from found that children die from accidental shootings at a pace of about one every other day, much higher than official government counts, which

, which tracks the number of shootings and deaths throughout the country,

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View a primer for handling small firearms whether the guns are concealed, open carried, used on the firing range or in the home. Joyce MarshallThe Star-Telegram

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