According to the gun violence archive, he is the twelfth child to die by a gun in Alabama this year. Fourteen other children suffered injuries.
Authorities say the investigation into the boys death continues as they work to confirm what happened in this incident.
He was so playful, so joyful, fun, make you laugh where you would say, Thats an old man in a two-year-old body, Gilliam says.
And she said, My grandbaby dead. Jr. dead. And I couldnt do nothing–I couldnt do nothing but fall to the ground–get up, walking, screaming, hollering, Gilliam recalls.
At the scene, Birmingham Police scoured the grounds inside the Collegeville Housing Community where Jelks, Jr. lived with his parents.
Were trying to confirm exactly what happened, and then well proceed once we find the details, said Birmingham Police Capt. James Jackson.
But family members shed more light on what they understand happened. Gilliam saying the boys father legally carried a gun for protection because of his work hours.
The father had just gotten off work. And probably just set the gun somewhere. and like I said, children look and play around with stuff. And that just probably happened to fall in his eyesight. And he got it, Gilliam says.
For those of us that have guns, we just ask that you keep them safe and out of the reach of children. We know this becomes redundant, we say this all the time–situations like this is the reason why, Jackson says.
Gilliam echoes that sentiment. Even though his father keeps it away from him–children see where you put things at. And they think its a toy–they think its something to play with. And its not, she says through tears. Guns aint worth it–keep them away from around your children. And if you have to have it for protection, put a lock on them. Put a lock on them because just like it happened to me, it could happen to you, too.