A 9-year-old Mesa boy was close to death on Wednesday after his younger brother shot him in the chest with a BB gun while the two were playing.
The boy, Noah Galindo, was hanging on to life at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix as of about 5 p.m., officials said.
Galindo was shot about four hours earlier when he and his 7-year-old brother, whose name was not released, were playing inside their apartment at 118 N. Extension Road. The boys' parents were not home at the time, and they were being watched by their 14-year-old sister, said Mesa police spokesman Detective Steve Berry.
The younger boy found a rifle-style BB gun, pointed it at his brother and pulled the trigger, apparently without knowing how seriously it could injure his brother, Berry said.
At first, the boy seemed fine, though he had a small hole in his upper chest. But a short time later, he started having breathing problems and coughing up blood, Berry said.
The older sister called her grandmother, who came over to the apartment and called 911.
The boy was then taken to the hospital, Mesa fire spokesman Capt. Bob Looby said.
Mesa police were investigating the shooting but did not expect to seek any charges against the younger brother or parents.
"That's why we always say kids and guns don't mix," Berry said. "It's never a good combination."