March 16 (UPI) — A 6-year-old boy from South Florida who found an unsecured gun in his home shot himself to death Saturday morning, police said.
The shooting occurred around 9 a.m. in Miami Gardens, Detective Carolyn Frazer, a spokeswomen for the department said in a report by the Miami Herald.
Frazer said the unidentified boy shot himself in the head while playing with the loaded gun.
The child’s grandmother called 911 and he was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where he died.
“We’re not exactly sure how the incident occurred,” Frazier told the Miami Herald. “We do have investigators speaking with witnesses who were at the scene when the incident occurred.”
The boy’s parents were not at the home during the shooting, police said.
“Such a tragedy that could have been avoided by simply locking up the firearm,” Officer Carlos Austin told WPLG-TV. “Gun ownership is a huge responsibility.”
Reiner Perez, who in his mother’s backyard while visiting, said he heard a single gunshot and then he saw a woman run from a nearby home, screaming for help.
The boy’s sibling was inside the house but police don’t know if child witnessed the shooting, WTVJ-TV reported.
“Heartbreakingly unacceptable and entirely preventable. Early reports confirm one of our 6-year-old students accidentally shot himself in the head; an older child witnessed it,” Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto Carvalho posted on Twitter. “What will it take for adults to secure their guns? How much more heartache? When is it finally enough?!”
If is a misdemeanor of the second degree if someone fails to safely store a firearm in a box or container and a minor gains access to it, according to Florida law.