A three-year-old Texas boy grabbed a gun from a purse sitting on the shelf of his home before pointing it at his head and pulling the trigger, investigators say.
Sheriff's deputies in Harris County said the shooting happened around 12:30 pm on Friday with the boy's mother and a sibling also in the home.
The Houston Chronicle reports the mother rushed from another part of the house after hearing a gunshot and found him with a gunshot wound to the jaw, officials said.
The boy was airlifted to the hospital, where he died.
Detectives told the Chronicle late Friday that they had not yet questioned the boy's mother and were trying to determine how the boy got his hands on the gun.
Texas law states that any loaded firearm must be kept reasonably secure - by means of a gun locker or trigger lock - to prevent a child from gaining access and using a firearm.
Failure to do so is considered criminal negligence and is punishable as a class A misdemeanor by up to a year in prison and up to $4000 in fines.
Neighbor Richard Gilliam said the family had been living there for a year and said they were good neighbors, though they mostly kept to themselves.
'It's just heart-wrenching,' he said.
Sheriff’s deputies said a county grand jury will likely hear the case after the investigation is completed.