Teenager killed in shooting accident

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 21, 1999

A Morgantown Elementary student was shot and killed Sunday in a &uot;terrible, tragic accident&uot; while playing at her Adams County home.

Thirteen-year-old Cecilia Banks of 430 Cranfield Road was apparently shot in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun while she was getting in her father’s pickup truck Sunday morning to play.

&uot;She liked to go into the truck and listen to music,&uot; said Banks’ mother, Augustine Knight.

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Knight said she saw her daughter going out to the pickup truck, but did not witness the accident.

&uot;She went to the truck and was fooling around and a gun went off,&uot; Knight said.

An emergency call came into the Adams County Sheriff’s Department at 9:27 a.m.

Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell said a 12-gauge shotgun was behind the seat of the older model pickup truck when Banks went to get in from the passenger side.

&uot;While getting in the vehicle, she apparently pulled on the barrel of the loaded gun,&uot; Ferrell said.

The gun was mounted on a home-made pegboard in the cab of the truck.

&uot;One of the pegs of the board lined up with the trigger of the gun,&uot; Ferrell said, discharging the weapon as Banks pulled on the barrel to get into the truck.

Banks was transported to Natchez Regional&160;Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. No charges have been filed in the death, Ferrell said. An investigation is continuing.

&uot;We’ll run a paraffin test,&uot; Ferrell said, adding that the Sheriff’s Department will fingerprint Banks and the gun to confirm the likely scenario of the girl’s death.

&uot;It’s a terrible, tragic accident,&uot; Ferrell said. &uot;She was so young.&uot;

Banks was in the fifth grade at Morgantown Elementary School.

Banks is the third child to be shot accidentally in Natchez this year. Eight-year-old La’Joshua White was accidentally shot June 5 by his brother, and a nine-year-old Natchez girl was shot by her seven-year-old brother on Aug. 28. Both children survived.