BRAMPTON, Ont. - A nine-year-old boy was sitting in his living room watching TV when he was fatally shot in the head with a bullet fired from outside his house, police said Thursday.
Kesean Williams, a Grade 4 student, was shot Wednesday night and died hours later of his injuries in hospital. No arrests have been made yet, but police believe the house in Brampton, Ont., northwest of Toronto, was targeted.
"It's appalling," said Peel Regional Police Acting Supt. George Koekkoek.
"It's totally unfathomable to think that, as I say, a young child sitting in his home, in the comfort of his own home, that something as tragic as this could happen."
Kesean, his 15-year-old brother and his mother moved in to that house last week. His brother and mother are "obviously devastated," said Koekkoek.
They had been living in the area for about five months, having moved there from Hamilton. Police don't know who the target may have been, but they are also looking at the previous tenants of that house, Koekkoek said.
"Our information to date and what we've learned thus far leads us to believe that it was the house that was targeted," he said.
"That said, it's early on in the investigation and we're trying to confirm that, so we're open to other things as well, but that's what we believe."
Police are canvassing the neighbourhood, interviewing hundreds of people, and already have some preliminary descriptions of people who were seen running from the area.
Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans urged those people to assist with the investigation in any way they can.
"We rely on our community to join in these efforts and provide any information possible that's going to lead to identification of the person or persons responsible for this horrible crime," she said.
The boy was a student at Sir Winston Churchill Public School. Members of the Peel District School Board's critical incident response team have been sent to the school to provide support to students and staff.
A letter has also been sent home to parents with tips on how to help their children deal with the tragedy.
Police seized a cab at the site of the shooting and three people are being interviewed as witnesses, police said.
Also on HuffPost:
Gun ownership is strictly prohibited unless there are "genuine reasons" such as licensed sport, animal control or employment requirements.
Brazilians over the age of 25 are allowed to own guns as long as they are registered and kept indoors. The country has the second-highest gun-related death rate after the U.S.
Canada's gun laws are significantly stricter than the neighboring U.S. To acquire a license, applicants must take a safety course, pass a criminal records check and be certified by a firearms officer.
Chinese civilians are not allowed to own guns, except for hunting and protection from wildlife. Citizens can face the death penalty if caught illegally selling arms.
Czech guns laws are considerably more liberal than the rest of Europe. Applicants must pass a questionnaire on firearms, have no criminal record and show ID proving they are over 21 years old.
Germany's Federal Weapons Act, enacted in 1972, restricts everything apart from replica guns to adults at least 18 years old, who must pass checks for "trustworthiness, knowledge and adequacy." A firearms ownership license, or <em>Waffenbesitzkarte</em>, must be obtained before a weapon can be purchased.
Italians can have up to three "common" handguns in their home, but if they want to hunt or carry a concealed weapon they must apply for a license.
Japanese licensing requirements are considered a formality -- there is little enforcement of the strict laws. Despite this, gun deaths are among the lowest in the world.
Strict laws, including criminal record checks, apply for Mexican ownership. However, there are growing concerns that smuggling from the US is undermining these regulations.
Self defense is not a viable excuse for carrying firearms outside the home in Russia. Hand guns and fully automatics are prohibited, but adults with no criminal record can apply for a license for shotguns and air rifles.
Brits convicted of a criminal offense cannot handle, possess or shoot a gun. A license is needed for any firearm except low-powered air rifles/pistols. Self-defense is not a valid reason for ownership.