Oregon Boy, 3, Fatally Shoots Himself with Gun He Found in Unlocked Bedroom Drawer

Detectives are actively investigating the shooting, which took place Friday night inside an Aloha home

James Kenneth Lindquester
James Kenneth Lindquester. Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office/ Facebook

No charges have been filed in Oregon after a toddler accidentally shot himself in the head Friday night with a handgun he found in an unlocked drawer.

In a statement on the fatal shooting, the Washington County Sheriff's Office revealed the first 911 call about little James Kenneth Lindquester came in shortly after 10 p.m.

"Family members of 3-year-old James Kenneth Lindquester called 911 to report James had gotten a handgun out of a bedroom end table drawer" in an Aloha home, "and shot himself in the head," reads the statement.

Authorities and EMS technicians rushed to the house and "took over life-saving efforts from the family."

An ambulance raced James to an area hospital "where he was pronounced deceased just before midnight," according to the statement.

Detectives are investigating the shooting, the statement notes.

Relatives refused to speak with KATU over the weekend.

The station did speak to Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Shannon Wilde, who said it was a tough scene for first responders.

"The death of a child is the absolute worst call that we go to," Wilde said. "It's tough, a lot of us are parents ourselves. I know some of the responders on scene last night have children, some have children the same age as this little boy and it's tough. We see a lot of horrible things but seeing a child in that situation is the worst."

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According to the Firearm Industry Trade Association, guns should only be loaded when they're about to be used in the field, on the target range or in the shooting area. Owners are urged to practice caution when bringing them inside the home.

"Unload your gun immediately when you have finished shooting, well before you bring it into a car, camp or home," the site reads. "When not in use, firearms and ammunition should be secured in a safe place, separate from each other."

"It is your responsibility to prevent children and unauthorized adults from gaining access to firearms or ammunition," the site notes.

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