Evan Ean Sun
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The room in which the boy found the gun was not locked, according to the coroner

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May 16, 2019 03:19 PM

On Mother’s Day, 4-year-old Ohio boy Evan Sun accidentally killed himself when he shot himself in the face with his father’s gun.

The father, Fu Z. “Frankie” Sun, an Ohio Highway Patrol State Trooper who graduated from the academy just weeks ago, told police that “he was sleeping and had heard a pop sound that awoke him,” according to a Toledo police report obtained by PEOPLE.

“Evan found his father’s back-up weapon,” says Diane Scala-Barnett, Lucas County Coroner, who performed the autopsy. “Apparently, it was his custom to come home, and take off all the guns and everything and put them in a third bedroom and close the door. He didn’t lock anything.”

Scala-Barnett ruled Evan’s death an accident.

“Evan must have gone into the spare bedroom, found the weapon — which was unsecured — and was probably looking at the weapon and he discharged it. The gunshot wound goes right into the face — right into his eye,” Scala-Barnett says.

Two other children were in the home, Scala-Barnett says.

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Lt. Kellie Lenhardt, a Toledo police spokeswoman, tells PEOPLE the death investigation is ongoing, saying it’s “a very active case.”

Separate from the Toledo police investigation, the highway patrol will conduct an internal investigation regarding the division-issued weapon, a spokeswoman tells PEOPLE.

“The Patrol family is deeply saddened by the devastating loss of Trooper Sun’s child,” Patrol Superintendent Richard S. Fambro said in a statement to PEOPLE. “There are no words to describe such a loss. Our thoughts and prayers have been, and will continue to be, with Trooper Sun, his family, friends and co-workers.”

Reached by phone by PEOPLE, Evan’s mother declined comment.

“It’s very sad,” Scala-Barnett, the coroner, tells PEOPLE. “It speaks for people having to be very vigilant. If they’re going to carry guns, or use guns in their profession, they have be very vigilant. Youngsters are curious. They see dad with it, they want to look at it. It’s not a new concept.”

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