Skip to Content

Eldon child gunshot victim one of scores nationwide


An Eldon child killed Sunday by a gunshot wound to the head is one of about 130 who die by firearms each year, according to a major gun safety advocacy group.

According to Every Town for Gun Safety, an average of 131 children and teens die by firearms every year. An Eldon man, Albert G. Keel, allegedly told investigators that he left a loaded handgun on a living room table before a child was shot to death Sunday, according to court documents. Keel was charged with a single count of child endangerment and was in the Miller County Jail on Tuesday, a judge reduced his bond to $250,000.

An Eldon Police Department officer wrote in the probable statement that Keel was negligent with the gun.

ABC 17 News spoke with former Cole County prosecutor, Bill Tackett and he said that it is rare for a parent to be prosecuted in these situations. "It's very rare in prosecution where you have an accident or stupidity that then crosses over into criminal negligence unless you're dealing with intoxication, vehicular homicide," Tackett said. " But in cases like this, it's not terribly common, no, to be charged. But then that's a decision for a prosecuting attorney."

Per the Missouri Child Fatality Review Program 2022 annual report, 8-of-9 unintentional firearm deaths were from playing with a gun that the owners did not know the child had access to. Of those nine, one gun was in a secure location but the owner was not aware the child could still access it. In all nine of the unintentional firearm deaths, the children were unsupervised.

In Missouri, up to 12% of child gun deaths are unintentional, according to the official manner of death listed in the review program.

A nonprofit journalism outlet looking into gun violence in America called The Trace gathered national data regarding children and firearms. From May 1, 2022, to April 30, 2023, they found at least 162 incidents where a child under the age of 13 fired a gun. In those incidents, they inadvertently wounded or killed themselves or another child under 13.

"A total of 71 children were killed and 96 were injured," The Trace stated in an article.

In that same article, Missouri is the third-ranked state for the most incidents in that time frame with 11. Twenty-six states have Child Access Prevention and Safe Storage Laws to help decrease the number of deaths and injuries among children and teens.

Missouri is not one of them.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

Jump to comments ↓

Jazsmin Halliburton


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content