A 2-year-old boy accidentally shot himself while playing with a gun, according to several reports emerging in the local media.
The incident occurred in the bedroom of a suburban house at Audubon Drive at Churchill in Fresno on Saturday noon. Conflicting reports emerging locally seemed to suggest that the child's parents were not at home at the time of the tragic incident, but Fresno Bee reported two adults were present in the house. The identities of these "family friends" is not clear at this time, although one person is reported to be the father's fiancee.
Once police were informed about the tragedy, they rushed the child to Valley Children's Hospital, where doctors tried to resuscitate the toddler with life-saving efforts, but he succumbed to the gunshot wound some six hours later on Saturday evening.
"At the time that this occurred, there were two adults inside the home with the child. Neither of them are the child's parents," Fresno Police officer Rob Beck said, although he refused to reveal the names of either the parents or the people present in the house.
Beck said the parents had been notified and now everyone is trying to figure out how the boy gained access to the gun. It is also not clear at this point if the gun belonged to the 2-year-old's parents or the family friends. Whether or not anybody will be charged is also not known.
Police have, however, obtained a search warrant for the house and crime tapes could be seen around the Fresno home.The unfortunate tragedy has left the entire neighborhood reeling. Wendy Kulterman, who lives a few feet away from the house where the shooting occurred, told ABC News Fresno affiliate that the family had moved to the neighborhood only six months ago. Kulterman said the parents of the toddler kept to themselves, although one could sometimes hear children playing in the house. A grandmother herself, she said it was awful that she would get to know more about the family next door because of this tragedy, rather than a personal acquaintance.
"That really bothered me. I have grandkids and you just think I would not want this to happen. The only thing we know about them is this tragedy and that's the closest we're getting to them. It's awful."Meanwhile, Beck reiterated the importance of gun safety and the havoc guns could wreak on people, and especially children, if not taken care of.
"You're required to, if you have firearms in the home, they need to be locked and out of reach of children," he said.
Earlier this year in January, a 3-year-old Dallas boy had died after accidentally shooting himself with a shotgun, while a 4-year-old Philly boy had sustained injuries after shooting himself in the leg with his father's.22-caliber handgun in April.