Sunflower County youth killed in apparent accidental shooting


A 17-year-old Sunflower County youth has died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest that he received from a 9 mm handgun early Sunday morning at a home in the 200 block of Augusta Street.

Caleb Smith, a junior at Indianola Academy, died late Sunday night at a Jackson hospital as a result of his injury.

Indianola Police Chief Edrick Hall said his department received the call around 8:34 a.m. Sunday morning about a gunshot victim and upon arrival spoke to Smith who told them his friend shot him, but it was an accident.

Smith was rushed to Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville immediately following the shooting. He was later transported to a Jackson area hospital where he was listed in critical condition, and he passed away shortly after 11 p.m., said Hall.

He said a total of five youth, who were members of the Sunflower County 4-H Shooting Sports club, were at the home at the time of the incident, and the boys had been together since leaving a shooting practice on Saturday afternoon.

Hall said the weapon was brought out, but it was apparently not known that it was loaded.

According to Hall, the district attorney was called and informed of the situation and he advised them to conduct a thorough investigation so their findings can be presented when the next grand jury convenes. 

Hall said his department’s investigators along with investigators from the DA’s office are working together and the investigation is ongoing.

No charges have been filed, however Hall said, “At this time, no charges are off the table.”


This article has been updated to reflect that Caleb Smith was a junior at Indianola Academy and not a sophomore. 


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