A 2-year-old boy has died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a pistol.
The toddler’s parents were out at the time and he was being taken care of by two other adults, believed to be family friends. The boy was in his bedroom when the shooting occurred, police told ABC station KFSN.
Fresno Police Department Lieutenant Rob Beck said it was not clear who the gun belonged to. “At the time that this occurred, there were two adults inside the home with the child. Neither of them are the child’s parents.
“You’re required to, if you have firearms in the home, they need to be locked and out of reach of children,” Beck said.
Police were called out to Audubon Drive on Saturday following reports of the shooting. They were given a search warrant for the property. The boy was taken to hospital but did not survive.
Neighbour Wendy Kulterman told KFSN the family had lived there for around six months. She said they mostly kept to themselves but sometimes she could hear children playing. “I have grandkids and you just think I would not want this to happen,” Kulterman said. “The only thing we know about them is this tragedy and that’s the closest we’re getting to them. It’s awful.”
According to gunviolencearchive.org, this marks the 12th child killed by a gun in July in the U.S.
Fresno Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sadly, cases of young children getting hold of guns are not uncommon. In May, a 2-year-old boy in Virginia accidentally shot himself after finding a gun in his apartment. A police officer first reported the shooting around noon on May 19 after a man and woman in a car flagged the officer down, telling him that their son had shot himself.
The officer called emergency responders, who rushed the boy to the hospital. Doctors pronounced the 2-year-old dead shortly before 1 p.m. No charges have been filed in the case at this time, according to the Roanoke Police Department.
In March, a 2-year-old Alabama boy shot and killed his 1-year-old brother after finding his parents’ loaded 9mm pistol in their bedroom. Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said the boys’ mother had just stepped out of the house to tell their grandmother she was leaving. Moments later, the 2-year-old emerged to tell his grandmother his ears were ringing.