A toddler has been fatally shot in Maine when an argument between two brothers, reportedly over a T-shirt, erupted into gunfire.
Maine State Police confirmed Monday that 2-year-old Octavia Huber Young was shot and killed alongside two men with non-fatal injuries during the alleged argument in Wells, Maine on Saturday. Andrew Huber Young, 19, was arrested on Sunday and charged with murder. According to a WCSH report citing court documents, Andrew was Octavia’s uncle and allegedly shot her, her brother Ethan and their father Mark during an argument over her brother wearing a Carhartt t-shirt that ‘he had.
The argument reportedly started earlier on Saturday and was briefly interrupted when Young and his girlfriend left to attend a Portland Sea Dogs baseball game. Court documents reportedly show the dispute continued over text messages while the brothers were separated and escalated sharply after Young returned home, with a neighbor telling WCSH they heard gunshots shortly after. nearly the same time.
Young reportedly said he “accidentally shot my [expletive] family” while surrendering to police. He was taken to York County Jail, where he was still being held without bail on Monday night. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Young’s brother and father were taken to local hospitals for treatment after the shooting and have since been released.
A news release from the Maine State Police says their Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate the shooting in conjunction with the Wells Police Department, in hopes that “Andrew Huber Young will face additional charges as the investigation progresses.”
Octavia’s mother, Samantha Higgins, told CBS affiliate WGME that she was devastated by the loss of her young daughter, who she described as having been “full of life”.
“All I know is that she was full of life and always loved to smile and play,” Higgins said. “She always wanted to be like her older sister…She always did when she wanted my attention, she always grabbed my finger and took me to her room and played with her. And she always liked to go out and play with her . swing.”
Andrew Higgins, Octavia’s uncle, said in a Facebook post that is no longer publicly available that the shooting made him “so mad at the world” and at God, according to The New York Post.
“Why did God have to take our precious little Octavia,” he reportedly wrote. “I just don’t understand why anyone would get angry and turn that anger into violence and shoot an innocent 2-year-old girl…Octavia was such a precious little girl.”
A friend set up a GoFundMe page to support Samantha Higgs and her family after the tragic death, which raised just over $5,000 of a goal of $12,000 on Monday night.
On average, 7,957 children and adolescents up to age 17 are slaughtered in the United States each year, according to the Brady campaign. Among them, 1839 died from their injuries.
Newsweek contacted the Maine State Police for comment and additional information.