A child accidentally shot and killed another child in the village of River Grove, Illinois, on Wednesday morning, police said.
The victim, a 4-year-old girl, was shot by another child whose age was not specified, from the same household,.
Police officers and paramedics who arrived at the scene found the child severely injured. She later died of her injuries, River Grove Police said in a news statement.
The child’s father was outside the house when another child brought the accidental shooting to his attention, after which he immediately called 911, police said.
“The father, who holds valid FOID [Firearm Owner’s Identification] and concealed carry cards, also admitted to being the owner of the handgun used in the accidental shooting, which he claimed was stored on a high shelf in a closet,” the police statement said. The child’s father is cooperating with investigators.
The shooting came just two days after a 4-year-old girl in Grovetown, Georgia, was critically injured afterwhen her father left a loaded gun on the floor of their home.
So far there have been at least 128 unintentional shootings by children nationwide this year, resulting in 54 deaths and 77 injuries, according to Everytown Research & Policy, an advocacy organization that collects detailed information from media reports about incidents in which children under 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else.
“Every year, hundreds of children in the United States gain access to unsecured, loaded guns in closets and nightstand drawers, in backpacks and purses, or just left out in the open,” the organization wrote in a report.