The national debate over gun control is hitting home for one Virginia community after police say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot himself to death Wednesday.
The Woodbridge child, whose name was not immediately released, managed to climb into a family member’s unlocked truck parked outside the house and find the handgun stashed inside, Prince William County police told The Washington Post.
The boy was reportedly alone in the car while his family was in the home. The gunshot to his head was self-inflicted, police said, and the force was strong enough to throw his body partially through the back window.
Neighbors rushed to the truck and the boy’s mother came out screaming. “She said, ‘My baby’s dead. My baby’s dead,’” neighbor Javiar Garcia told a local news station. "I saw the baby in the back seat with (his body) down, and they had blood around and a little hole in his head, too,” he added. “ I said, ‘Oh my God, we have to call 911.’”
The shooting was reported at 3:25 p.m., and the boy — who was known by neighbors for riding his scooter on the block — was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“This was a tragedy,” Officer Jonathan Perok told The Post. “The family is grieving. We need to wait for them to calm down and do the investigation.”