The boy's family rushed him to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, according to reports

By Joelle Goldstein
July 29, 2020 02:08 PM
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A 3-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself with a gun in Atlanta, authorities confirmed to multiple local media outlets.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning just after 11 a.m. at a West Manor home, according to Fox affiliate WAGA-TV.

Police believe the toddler got his hands on a loaded gun inside the home and then accidentally shot himself in the head, WAGA-TV reported.

"The information we are getting at this point is that the injury is most likely going to be self-inflicted, from a firearm that the child located at the home," Atlanta Police Lt. Pete Malecki told the news station.

A spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

First responders arrived at the scene, but the boy's family had already rushed him to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, WAGA-TV reported.

He was initially listed in critical condition before police confirmed his death shortly after 4 p.m., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It is unclear how the toddler got ahold of the gun, if anyone was home during the incident or whether charges will be filed.

ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported that the child's mother and her boyfriend were cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

An autopsy is being performed to confirm the official cause and manner of death, according to the Journal-Constitution.

"We are in the process of securing a search warrant to go ahead and process that scene and hopefully get some more answers to those questions," Lt. Malecki told WAGA-TV. "We still have a lot of interviews to do and to gather evidence from that home."

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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.