A 2-year-old boy died Monday morning after he shot himself with a gun found in a French Settlement-area home, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said.
A preliminary investigation indicated the child climbed up on a stool, grabbed the handgun off a counter and fired it, Ard said in a news release.
When deputies arrived at the house, they found the toddler with a gunshot wound to the face, the news release says.
Sheriff's deputies responded to the home on the 18000 block of Murphy Estates Lane in southern Livingston Parish around 10 a.m.
The child, whose identity has not been released, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
No arrests or citations have been made at this time, Ard said.
Authorities would not answer questions about who left the gun on the counter or who was home at the time of the incident, citing the ongoing investigation.
Between 2015 and 2017, at least 829 children in the U.S. got their hands on “irresponsibly stored” guns and shot themselves or other people, according to an analysis from Everytown, an advocacy group focused on reducing gun violence in the U.S.
Since January, there have been at least 141 unintentional shootings by children ages 17 and younger in the U.S., according to a list collected by the organization. In Louisiana alone, nine children have been involved in such shootings since January, according to Everytown's database. Three of those nine Louisiana children died.
One of those was a 4-year-old Ky'Marley Harrington, who shot himself in the head with a loaded handgun his father accidentally left in a bathroom of their Oakdale home in June.
In March, a 4-year-old Jennings boy pulled a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol from between some couch cushions and fired it at a 2-year-old, injuring him. A 33-year-old woman, who allegedly left it there when she fell asleep the night before, was booked on a felony count of cruelty to juveniles.
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A 2017 analysis by The Advocate of child shootings found adults have been inconsistently held responsible in these incidents. In more than half of the 12 cases across the state where children 8 or younger shot themselves or were shot by another child from 2014 to 2016, no one was arrested.
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