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March 12, 2018 10:17 PM

Witten, SD Family Speaks Out About Gun Safety After Their Child Dies

A Witten, South Dakota family has an important message to parents.

After their three-year-old son accidentally shot himself, they want to make sure all caretakers practice gun safety.

This is especially important as accidental shootings involving children are on the rise.

From Snapchat videos to cell phone pictures, these days there are so many ways to capture special moments with your children.

"He was a big superhero: Spider-Man, Iron Man," Barry Hurley, Brooks' dad said.

Moments that are now just a memory for this Witten, South Dakota family.

"He didn't walk. He just ran," Katie Hurley, Brooks' mom said.

On February 16 Katie Hurley left her kids with her then-boyfriend while she was at work.

"I had just gotten off of work. I was around a quarter mile from his house, and my phone rang. It was him. He was screaming, 'Brooks has been shot. Brooks has been shot.' I just remember my ears were ringing," Katie said.

Katie says Brooks had accidentally shot himself.

"I drove as fast as I could. When I got there, I could tell he was already gone," Katie said.

Katie's daughter, ten-year-old Keasha, was with Brooks and called 911.

"It didn't really seem real. It just seemed like a cartoon happening with my brother," Keasha Kartak said.

"She had to see it all. She was so brave and so good," Katie said.

"I had to call them several times because they wouldn't listen," Kartak said.

Now the family is trying to move forward while remembering their baby brother and little boy. Brooks' father Barry has changed his son's bedroom into a memorial. You can also find mementos all across the house and around their necks.

"It says, 'I'll hold you in my heart until I hold you in heaven.' It has his name and an angel wing," Katie said.

Brooks' parents also want their pain to send a message to others; a message they say is plain and simple.

"Unload, and lock up your guns. Period. Watch your kids," Barry said.

"Absolutely lock up your guns. Absolutely, there's no reason to have a loaded gun, especially within a kid's reach," Katie said.

Because for them, that mistake means a lifetime without more memories of their baby boy.

"He loved everybody. He was always trying to make everybody laugh," Katie said.

A loveable little boy with big blue eyes, whose death could encourage others to lock up their guns and open up a conversation to save lives.

You can help the family with funeral expenses through their GoFundMe page.

The shooting is under investigation, but the Gregory County Sheriff says no foul play is suspected.




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