Latest accidental shooting concerns Hmong leaders

11:36 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
Two-year old Neegnco Xiong died Wednesday after his four-year old brother accidently shot him. The boy was playing with a gun that he apparently found in between a headboard and a mattress of a bed.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - A two-year-old boy who was accidently shot by his four year old brother has some in the Hmong community concerned the lack of knowledge about gun safety is a growing problem.

"This is a major issue," said Robert Lor with the Hmong 18 Council, which represents thousands of Hmong across the state.

In the last four months, there have been two cases in the Hmong community where children were accidentally shot with a gun.

Two-year old Neegnco Xiong died Wednesday after his four-year old brother accidently shot him. The boy was playing with a gun that he apparently found in between a headboard and a mattress of a bed.

In August, a child accidently shot a two year old boy in the head in St. Paul, but the boy survived. The boy's father will be sentenced next week for negligent storage of a firearm.

"For those who are new arrivals, the people who have a lack of education, they do not know the policy and they don't know what's going on," said Lor.

He says gun safety has been an issue his organization has dealt with for years. That's because he says it can be difficult to find Hmong speaking-trainers who can bridge the language and cultural barrier.

"They keep the weapon at home but there is no one who can train them how to safety the children," he said.

Chris Schutrop with Midwest Carry Academy says Wednesday's accident is not only preventable but should be a wakeup call for everyone who owns a gun, not just for those in the Hmong community.

"At a minimum every police department in the state gives out free gun locks. Those are locks that work for about any gun. And it doesn't cost a cent," said Schutrop.

And if a gun lock doesn't work, a safe with a combination is another option, he says. Or just simply putting the bullets and the gun in separate locations away from children. 

Because of the recent shooting, the Hmong 18 Council tells KARE 11 it is now in the beginning stages of planning a workshop that would bring trainers and the Hmong community in Minnesota together in hopes of improving gun safety.

Lor says he sees similar issues in Wisconsin and California where the Hmong populations are prevalent. And he hopes a greater effort to educate people about gun safety will stop the next tragedy from happening.

"It's a big loss to the community," he said about the latest shooting.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Most Watched Videos