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Nebraska Avenue shooting

An unidentified woman sits with a baby outside the scene where a 6-year-old boy was hit by a bullet in the 4200 block of Nebraska Avenue on Tuesday, Sept. 10. 2019. Photo by Christine Tannous,

ST. LOUIS — The bullet that hit a 6-year-old boy Tuesday night apparently came from a gun that had been dropped, causing it to discharge, police say.

The round hit the boy in the abdomen, and he was critically hurt.

St. Louis police said Wednesday that the department's child-abuse detectives are handling the case as an accidental injury.

The boy remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday at a St. Louis hospital. Police have not released the boy's name. He was hit in the abdomen about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 4200 block of Nebraska Avenue.

Police did not release any other details about the shooting, including what kind of weapon was dropped or who dropped it. Evita Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the department, said she did not have any more information.

The shooting was in the city's Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

That block of Nebraska is about a half-mile north of where 3-year-old Kennedi Powell was fatally shot June 9. In that homicide, someone in a car opened fire on three adults, including Kennedi's parents, who were outside in the 4600 block of Michigan Avenue. A neighbor boy also was hit by gunfire that night but survived.

It's been a particularly dangerous year in St. Louis when it comes to guns and children.

At least 13 children have been killed by gunfire in St. Louis this year. Big cash rewards are being offered through CrimeStoppers for information leading to arrests in the recent shooting deaths of four young children in the city. Tipsters can anonymously call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.