07/18/07 — Boy, 8, dies in accident with gun at his home

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Boy, 8, dies in accident with gun at his home

By Lee Williams
Published in News on July 18, 2007 1:45 PM

An 8-year-old boy was fatally injured Tuesday at his home on Robson Circle when a gun he was playing with accidentally went off.

Andre Wilder of 310 Robson Circle reportedly found the gun and started to play with it when his brother, 12-year-old Kris Wilder, tried to intervene, his mother, 33-year-old Shenita Wilder-Dancy said.

As the pre-teen struggled to take the gun from the 8-year-old, the gun went off, fatally injuring him.

A neighbor and her boyfriend saw the 8-year-old boy's body stretched out in his front yard, lying near the curb. The neighbor's boyfriend rushed over and tried to revive him, but to no avail.

Goldsboro police and Wayne County EMS responded to the home at about 2:50 p.m. Tuesday and found Andre Wilder unresponsive, Goldsboro police Sgt. Chad Calloway said.

Andre Wilder was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he later died, said Amy Cain, a hospital spokeswoman.

His body was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill for an autopsy to determine his exact cause of death.

"Whenever there's a question they are sent to Chapel Hill," Miss Cain said. "It's not uncommon, especially in the death of a child."

Family members called the incident an accidental shooting, but because the investigation is in its infancy, Calloway declined to confirm or deny the claim.

Meanwhile, family members are struggling to make sense of the tragedy, which they say has rocked their family including Mrs. Wilder-Dancy and Andre Wilder's father, Zeno Mitchell, 51, of Goldsboro, to the core.

Mrs. Wilder-Dancy said she did not own a gun and she had no idea where the gun came from.

She said she believes her son found the gun and became curious.

"All little boys are curious about guns," she said.

She said everyone has offered their support to her family and she will always be grateful. She is especially grateful to the Goldsboro Police Department and the N.C. Highway Patrol for the kindness that they have shown her family.

She said the family is receiving friends at her parents' home at 310 Rollingwood Drive, Dudley. Funeral arrangements are pending.

She added that she hopes this raises awareness about gun safety and the dangers of guns. She said children are given toy guns and many can't differentiate between a toy gun and a real gun.