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Joliet 2-year-old dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound

June 2, 2021 GMT

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A 2-year-old has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inflicted with a weapon belonging to his father, suburban Chicago police said Wednesday.

Joliet Fire Department crews responded to a call early Wednesday of a child suffering a gunshot wound. The toddler had found a gun legally owned by his father in a TV stand and accidentally shot himself in the head, according to Joliet police. The father was at home at the time of the incident.

“I can attest as a parent, with my colleagues up here: things can go bad in a split second,” said Joliet police Lt. Joe Egizio. “You have to be conscious of where you’re placing firearms if you own them. I, as a police officer, have to make that conscious decision every night.”

Fire Chief Greg Blaskey said the child was treated at the scene and taken to AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in critical condition, where he later died.

Police said the shooting was an accident, but the case remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.