FORT WORTH, Texas — Carleana Washington has felt numb this week after having to make funeral plans for her 4-year-old child. Truth Albright was shot and killed accidentally by his 5-year-old brother in their south Fort Worth home Sunday.
"I never wanted to bury my own child," said Washington.
There are balloons, a stuffed animal and a card at the home where the shooting happened. The vibrant 4-year-old was the "protector" of his siblings — the "little big brother," said his aunt Kristi Williams. Pictures show a child with a wide smile and videos show his heart for his younger siblings.
"He was a smart and loving child," said Washington.
The reality is what happened in the home on Sunday was actually two tragedies: one was Truth Albright, and the second was his brother.
"I can't lose two kids and my baby is only 5 [years old] and he needs us," said Washington.
Washington says the two boys were always confused for twins. Carleana admits she would often dress them identically. They were inseparable. On Sunday this mother woke up to a fired shot.
"He thought he was playing a game with his brother because he said, 'OK Truth, you can get up, you're not dead anymore,'" recalled Washington.
This mother is giving extra loving attention for her 5-year-old and she is ready to give him professional help. Fort Worth police say there will be no charges to the parents. A police spokesman told WFAA the gun was stored where a child wouldn't reasonably find it.
Washington said she has learned a very hard lesson about gun culture. She says children are so easily impressionable and she wishes she was more strict about the music her children listen to and the movies they watch.
"No play guns. No music. I'm screening all their movies," she said.
This family sees two unfortunate tragedies, and one opportunity to teach other parents.
"We need to be more aware. We have to be mindful of guns. A 4-year-old had to show us a lesson," Williams said.
Funeral plans for Truth have been set for the following weekend. The family has put out a fundraiser to help them pay for funeral plans.