A five-year-old boy shot himself in the chest in Ohio after the gun he was playing with discharged, police say.
Officers were called to an apartment in the Weinland Park area of Columbus at 10:45pm on Saturday to reports of a shooting.
However, the little boy had already been taken to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital by his mother with a gunshot wound to his upper right chest before police arrived.
The child had been playing with his mother’s loaded gun when the firearm discharged, the Columbus Police Department said in a statement on Sunday.
Once at the hospital, the boy was stabilized and is expected to recover from his injuries.
Police are continuing to investigate and are asking that anyone with information call felony assault investigators or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers. It is not known if any charges have been laid.
Newsweek has contacted the Columbus Police Department for comment.
In a similarly tragic case from Mississippi in November last year, a two-year-old girl was also thought to have accidentally shot herself.
Officers responded to a call on Line Street in Senatobia, about 40 miles south of Memphis, at 9 a.m. on Monday, November 2, WLBT reported.
Senatobia Assistant Chief of Police Matt Defore said that preliminary evidence suggested the shooting had occurred as a result of “an accidental discharge.”
Her father, Mardarikkious Walls, 21, was charged with one count of contributing to the neglect of a child.
The little girl survived the shooting.
Sadly, this was not the case for a nine-year-old boy who died after accidentally shooting himself in the head after he found a gun in the bedroom of his Chicago home.
Officers scrambled to the child’s North Austin home, where they found Ashton Lipscomb lying motionless and bleeding from a head wound in October last year.
The boy was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Three guns were found in a second-floor bedroom, the Chicago Tribune reported.
One of the weapons, a revolver, had a spent shell casing in the cylinder. It is understood the father told police he was collecting his wife from hospital when the shooting occurred.
It is unclear if any adult was watching the children at the time of the shooting.
And in September, a toddler accidentally shot his 12-year-old cousin after finding a gun.
The two-year-old boy, who has not been named, was playing at a house in Alabama, when the incident occurred on September 23.
The little boy is understood to have come across the gun on a bed, picked it up and pulled the trigger.
The 12-year-old’s mother told investigators that the gun belonged to her 19-year-old son and her two-year-old nephew had found it on the bed. Police said the shooting was accidental.
Hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else every year, according to campaign group Everytown for Gun Safety. Every year, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, the organisation reports.
There were at least 282 unintentional shootings by children in 2020, resulting in 114 deaths and 176 injuries, according to the group’s #NotAnAccident index, which tracks such shootings. In more than half of those incidents, the shooter was a child aged five or under.
The group says research shows an estimated 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in homes where there is at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked and urge gun owners to take extra precautions when children are in the presence of firearms.