A 2-year-old Indiana boy was accidentally shot by his 3-year-old brother, who found the loaded gun in his mother’s purse, police said.
The boys’ mother told police that her 3-year-old son was in their bedroom when he found the gun and shot his younger brother. WGN reported. She frantically drove the wounded toddler to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries.
The tragic incident occurred Friday evening in Gary, about 150 miles from Indianapolis. Neighbors reported hearing a loud bang just before 7:30 p.m. ABC reports.
The Gary Police Department confirmed the shooting in a Post on Facebookin which gun-owning residents are asked to “secure their firearms in a gun case or with a gun lock.”
In a joint statement from Gary Mayor Jerome A. Prince and Gary Police Chief Anthony Titus, the men expressed their sadness and vowed to take action following the boy’s death.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the two-year-old child who was tragically taken from our community. “We understand that nothing we say can ease the pain these tragedies cause in our community,” the statement said.
“This case is under investigation, but it is a difficult reminder of the responsibility we all have as adults in properly securing all firearms and devices that could become weapons in the hands of innocent children.”
“Of course, we must do more to protect our community members from accidents like these, and we will act,” they said.
They reminded residents that police are offering free gun locks and said they would be ordering “a lot more.”
“We will find the best way to distribute these free and potentially life-saving devices throughout our community,” the statement continued.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office has ruled the death an accidental death, although the incident remains under investigation by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit. CBSChicago reported.
No charges had been filed as of November 20th. Officials did not identify the boys’ mother.