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14-year-old accused of shooting 11-year-old cousin in Vicksburg, police say

VICKSBURG, Mississippi (WLBT) – A 14-year-old from Vicksburg is accused of shooting and killing his 11-year-old cousin, police say.

Thomas Hardman, 14, of Vicksburg, is charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of Rashawn Wilbert, 11.

Investigators say Wilbert and two other children were playing when they found a gun in a closet. At one point, VPD says Wilbert’s 14-year-old cousin shot him and killed him.

The incident happened inside a house on Elizabeth Circle around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Wilbert died of a gunshot wound to the upper torso, police said.

Hardman appeared before Judge Allen Derivaux in Vicksburg City Court on Wednesday. His bond is $ 150,000.

Elizabeth Circle neighbors say they are shocked and saddened.

“I don’t want to give away the caliber of the gun they were playing with the gun. The 14-year-old fired a shot that hit the 11-year-old, ”said Lt. Johnnie Edwards, Vicksburg Police Force Criminal Investigations Commander. “It’s very unfortunate. I hate this kind of thing.

“He will face a charge of manslaughter because it was not meanness or anything he had against his little cousin,” he also revealed. “Because this is a manslaughter case, we have to take it to a grand jury. “

This is the second fatal shooting in two weeks involving children who have found guns.

In Canton, police said a 2-year-old girl found a gun in the car and accidentally shot and killed her 9-year-old brother. Police said the children were left in a car while their parents visited a relative inside a house.

“If you have guns in homes, unload those guns and please secure them and put them somewhere and out of reach,” Edwards advised. “If you can, put the balls somewhere else. This is another way to keep kids from grabbing hold of them because if they catch them they want to see what they’re going to do.

This deadly shooting is the first homicide of the year in Vicksburg.

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