Family honors 5-year-old killed in accidental shooting

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The family of a 5-year-old Little Rock boy killed in an accidental shooting is trying to turn their loss into a lesson.

Brennan Esau would have turned 6-years-old on Monday. Instead his family marked a bittersweet birthday, the first one since Brennan accidentally shot himself last September.

“I can just picture my baby in heaven dancing around,” said mom Erica Esau. “Brennan was always a happy child, always. He woke up with a big old smile.”

Brennan was the youngest of five children. Esau says he was home with his older brothers and was supposed to be taking a nap, but no one realized he got his hands on a loaded gun.

“I gave my baby a kiss, and I walked out the door to drop my son off and that’s the last time I saw my baby, alive,” Esau said.

Little Rock Police called the shooting a tragic accident.

“She [mom] kept the gun and the magazine separate from each other and apparently she didn’t realize that maybe one was still in the chamber,” explain Lt. Michael Ford the day after it happened.

Esau says she waited to share her message, wanting the focus to be on gun safety.

“Always make sure your gun is unloaded if it’s in your house or lock it up completely,” she said. “Let’s be real, we’ve all been kids. We’ve all done something we shouldn’t have done. Unfortunately it cost my son his life.”

His brothers, mother, extended family, and friends gathered at the Dalton Whetstone Boys & Girls Club Monday night for a memorial. Esau called the club her son’s favorite place and says he spent hours dancing there.

“He would just dance, dance, dance, the whole time he was here,” she added.

With this birthday far from the celebration Esau ever imagined, she wants her son’s legacy to be how he lived and not the tragic way he died.

“Love on each other while you can. Love on your children, love on your parents,” Esau said. “I just can’t wait to see my baby again.”

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