A 53-year-old man has been arrested for child endangerment after his four-year-old grandson got hold of his gun and fatally shot a two-year-old girl in California, police said.
The shooting happened in San Bernardino on Friday. Deputies and medical aid arrived and found the two-year-old victim, the cousin of the boy, suffering from a gunshot wound. The toddler died about 50 minutes after being hospitalised, the local media reported.
Investigators determined that the boy got access to the weapon and shot his cousin by accident, according to the local sheriff’s department. The boy’s grandfather, Cesar Lopez, was arrested and will be booked for child endangerment and felon in possession of a firearm.
A 72-year-old neighbour of the family called the news “devastating” and told a local news outlet, the San Bernardino Sun, that people who got guns have to lock them up so children wouldn’t have access to them.
Another neighbour said it was an unfortunate accident and she could not understand how a boy as young as four could be left alone long enough to find a gun. An investigation into the incident was underway.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection and research group that provides free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the US, there have been altogether 7,982 people killed in gun-related violence in the country to date in 2018, including 381 children under the age of 11.