In yet another tragic gun accident, a 3-year-old child in McDonough, Henry County, Georgia, accidentally shot an 18-month-old toddler in the head with a .45 caliber handgun on Saturday afternoon.
According to Fox 5 News, Henry County Police authorities said that at about 3 p.m. on Saturday, at a home off King Mill Road in McDonough, a city in the Atlanta metropolitan area, a 3-year-old boy, who got hold of a handgun belonging to a member of the family, accidentally shot a one-and-a-half-year-old toddler believed to be his brother.
The toddler was rushed to Piedmont Henry Hospital where he died at around 5 p.m. before he could be flown to the Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, police said.
It was unknown how the 3-year-old was able to obtain the handgun. But Henry County police spokesperson Lt. Mike Ireland, who confirmed that the weapon involved was a .45 caliber handgun, said a family member left the loaded weapon on a table in the bedroom.
A police report said the “tragic accident” occurred after the 3-year-old picked up the handgun, accidentally pulled the trigger and shot the 18-month-old baby in the head.
Two adults were in the room when the accident occurred, but they did not notice when the 3-year-old picked up the weapon. The two adults turned around after the gun went off and saw that the 18-month-old child had been shot in the head.
The adults called 911 and tried to administer first aid.
“There were adults in the room at the time, but the adults were not paying attention to what was going on,” Lt. Mike Ireland told WSBTV. “They did not actually see the incident occur.”
Police did not confirm whether the shot was a direct hit or a graze, according to Raw Story. But they confirmed that the parents were present in the room when the accident occurred.
The grandparents were also in the house at the time, but apparently not in the same room.
Although it is believed that the weapon was fired by the 3-year-old who is an adopted child of the family, police were also investigating the possibility that the toddler had picked up gun and shot himself.
The uncertainty arises because the two adults in the room at the time of the accident turned around only after they heard the gunshot and thus did not witness the moment the gun was fired.
“We are actively investigating if it was an accidental shooting by the 3-year-old, or accidentally inflicted by the one-and-a-half-year-old,” Fox 5 News reports Ireland said.
The gun was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) for fingerprinting to confirm the details of the incident. The body of the child was also turned over to the GBI, police said.
Lt. Ireland confirmed that police secured a search warrant to investigate the bedroom and the family house. Police officers interviewed the grandparents of the child while the parents rushed the wounded toddler to the hospital.
Investigators said the parents will also be interviewed after they have been given sufficient time to grieve.
“We are allowing everybody to grieve at this time,” Fox 5 News reports Lt. Ireland said.
“It’s a tragic time for all the family members, so we’re allowing everybody to grieve at this time,” Ireland told WSBTV.
The names of the children and the identity of the family were being withheld. Police also declined to confirm who owned the gun. The authorities also did not comment on possible criminal charges against the adults in the room at the time of the accident.
The latest tragic shooting involving a child shooter and child victim comes after 14-year-old Jesse Osborne shot 6-year-old Jacob Hall in the leg at Townville Elementary School in Townville, South Carolina, on Wednesday.
Osborne had earlier shot and killed his father.
Hall died on Saturday at Greenville Memorial Hospital after being taken off life support.
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