A 3-year-old child shot and killed himself while playing with a firearm Wednesday evening, the Gainesville Police Department reported in a news release.
Multiple GPD officers and EMS responded to the Lamplighter Mobile Home Community off Northeast 39th Avenue at about 5:57 p.m. in reference to a shooting, the release said.
An initial investigation revealed that the child obtained a semi-automatic handgun from an unlocked gun case in the home.
Police said the boy was playing with the firearm when it went off, striking him. Investigators did not say where the gunshot wound was.
Two other young juveniles witnessed the incident, the report said.
The 3-year-old was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
GPD Detective Sgt. John Pandak, an investigator in the case, said the parents were not home when the shooting occurred but added another adult was present.
“Even when you talk to kids and give them all the right information (about gun safety), they’re still kids, Pandak said. “They still make wrong choices. Not on purpose, but they’re curious.”
Multiple neighbors heard the gunshot and called GPD. Victim Advocates responded to the scene to assist relatives with support and resources.
“The neighborhood is close-knit,” Pandak said. “With people hanging out and with residences close to one another, it was very easy to hear a gunshot.”
Though no criminal charges have been filed, Pandak said police are still gathering evidence and information for its investigation before making a final determination during.