Tragedy befell on the Riverside neighborhood on Tuesday after a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old brother, and the father of the victim spoke with FOX 9 News to explain what happened.
"I miss my son so much," Kao Xiong told FOX 9 News. "I don't know where he is now. I want to see him. I want to see him be happy again."
Xiong says he is absolutely devastated by the accidental shooting death of his young son, explaining that he came home to have lunch with his family when his life changed forever within mere minutes.
"Horrible, unpredictable situation," Xiong said. "This is an accident that has changed my life for the rest of my life."
Xiong says each day he came home to spend lunch with his wife and three young sons, his son Neegnco was happy to see him and always wanted a piggy-back ride. He got home at about noon on Wednesday. His oldest son was at school, and Neegnco and his 4-year-old brother went into an upstairs bedroom to play when a shot rung out after just a few minutes.
Xiong told FOX 9 News he rushed upstairs to find Neegnco laying on a bed with blood coming from his stomach while the 4-year-old struggled to hide underneath the bed.
He called a 911 operator to say, "I need help, my 4-year-old accidentally shot my son!" while attempting CPR on the toddler.
According to Xiong, the gun was in a holster with some sort of fastener on it. He kept it tucked under his pillow between the mattress and headboard, and said he never imagined his children would find it.
"I don't want to bury him," he said. "I don't want to lose a son."
Xiong explained that he bought the Chinese-made semi-automatic pistol from an online gun broker about a year ago for protection because his home was broken into when he lived in Eau Claire, Wis., about seven years ago.
Now that Xiong is preparing for his son's funeral, he said his life is "full of sadness."
"I'm heartbroken," he said.
When asked whether he was worried about potential charges, Xiong replied to say that he is a good person and a law-abiding citizen with a permit to carry. He hopes he won't be charged -- especially since he isn't the one who pulled the trigger.
In Minnesota, a 4-year-old cannot be charged with a crime, but parents and caregivers can be charged for leaving a loaded firearm in a space where children can access it.
Xiong's three other children remain in protective custody, and he said that fact makes a difficult situation even worse.
A candlelight vigil for Neegnco and his family has been set for Saturday.