Maker Of Youth Rifle Gains Notoriety After Death

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MILTON -- State police in Kentucky are investigating the deadly shooting that happened Tuesday

Since then, it has come out that the gun belonged to the little girl's 5-year-old brother. It was a gift and was made in Northumberland County.

According to its website, Keystone Sporting Arms in Milton has grown considerably since opening nearly 20 years ago.

Its "Crickett" rifle designed for kids has the slogan "my first rifle."

And it was the rifle in the hands of a five year old in Kentucky when the unthinkable happened.

There's a sales pitch for the Crickett - a .22 caliber small rifle made for and used by kids – on YouTube.

Kristian Sparks is the 5-year-old boy from Kentucky who police say accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister Caroline Tuesday. Caroline died. The Crickett was a gift for the boy and, according to investigators, was left in a corner with a shell in it.

The Crickett is made at Keystone Sporting Arms in the Milton Industrial Park. That fact spread far and wide in the midst of the national gun debate

So much so, that the owner who would not go on camera says the company received threats by email. The doors were locked but employees - about 100 in all - kept working.

"We've had BB guns, paintball guns, not something we'd let them carry around," said Cindy Metzger of Milton.

"Was it marketed for a child? Had a real shell in it?" asked Diane Lamey of Turbotville.

People we spoke with in Milton were surprised to hear the Crickett comes in different colors and believe parents need to be more careful to prevent death or injury.

The owner of the company told Newswatch 16 he did not put the shell in the rifle or pull the trigger. Still, some believe the company should shoulder some of the responsibility after a little girl's death at the hands of her brother's gun.

Police in Milton kept a close eye on Keystone Sporting Arms Thursday after the company received some threats, but no incidents were reported

The owner said that he and all his employees are saddened to learn of the death of 2-year-old Caroline Sparks.