3-Year-Old Boy Dies After Shooting Himself With a Gun He Found in a Nightstand

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“This is a nightmare,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

A 3-year-old Florida boy died Wednesday after he found a handgun and shot himself.

Authorities said the incident occurred when the toddler and a 7-year-old were being watched by their teenage sister.

The younger boy got into a nightstand where a 9mm handgun was stored and fired one shot to his face, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

The sheriff said the 911 call came from the 16-year-old sister who was watching the boys.

"My little brother shot himself!" she yelled, said Sheriff Chitwood. "There is blood everywhere!" 

The first responding officer performed life-saving measures but the injury was too severe and the child was pronounced dead at the hospital, said the sheriff. 

Sheriff Chitwood described the incident as a “nightmare”.

“Nothing comes close to the pain the family must be feeling,” said Sheriff Chitwood. “My heart goes out to each of them tonight. The worst night any parent could imagine facing.”

Sheriff Chitwood said the handgun was normally stored in a safe, which at the time was broken. They will investigate how long the safe had been broken. 

The father is a state corrections officer and had a second gun on top of the fridge. Neither weapon was department-issued, said authorities.

The sheriff said no charges have been brought against any party per a Florida law that states no arrests can be made in the first week following an accidental shooting involving a child. After that period any charges the investigation turns up will be brought to the state attorney.

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