MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The 3-year-old who accidentally shot himself in Tennessee died Monday, according to the Collierville Police Department.
Around 4 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to a possible gunshot injury call in a shopping center in Collierville, Tennessee.
A three-year-old located a gun inside a vehicle and accidentally shot himself.
Police say family members were also in the vehicle during the incident. The child was taken to LeBonheur Hospital in critical condition.
It’s unclear how the boy was able to get ahold of the weapon. Investigators said other relatives were in the car at the time of the accidental shooting.
While there are many questions in this case, doctors say all too often too many children are getting ahold of guns.
“There’s a lot of remorse and sadness when this occurs,” said Dr. Regan Williams, Travel Medical Director at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. “It’s pretty frustrating. This is something that we see day in and day out and it’s preventable. Gunshot wounds are preventable both in adults and in children. But it always is a little bit more sad in a three-year-old because they had so much left in their life and it was taken away so early.”
Looking ahead to the summer, Dr. Williams said her team sees trauma go up while children are out of school. She said families need to keep guns and ammunition locked and stored separately.
“It’s not always enough to tell a child not to mess with a gun if they have access to it. They’re curious little people and they tend to want to see what it is and play with it and that’s how we get accidental injuries,” said Dr. Williams.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris recently talked to WREG about his push for safe storage in the county to combat these accidental injuries.
“In Shelby County government, we’ve created the first gunlock by mail program in the country, we believe. So what that means, if you go to our website, we’ll send you a gunlock in the mail for free. There’s no other place you can get that done but we need innovation in this community because we have so many accidental shooting deaths, so many guns that are not safely stored,” said Harris.
The 3-year-old’s family has created a GoFundMe to help with their finances. You can donate by clicking here.
CPD says the case is still under investigation.