San Bernardino County Sheriff’s personnel investigate the scene of a fatal shooting in Muscoy, Calif., on Friday.
(Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
A 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old nephew in a house in a Southern California city Friday, and their grandfather was later arrested for allegedly leaving the gun in a place accessible to children, authorities said.
Cesar Lopez, 53, was charged with child endangering and felon in possession of a firearm, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
Deputies and medical crews responded to the middle of the morning shoot in Muscoy, a small town of about 10,000 people, located east of Los Angeles, and found a toddler suffering from a gunshot wound, police said.
2-year-old shot and killed in Muscoy area of San Bernardino County https://t.co/r7MmPac8nB
— The Sun (@sbsun) 20 July 2018
Neighbor Bubba McBath told KTLA-TV he heard the family’s screams to call 911, and later saw the girl taken in a ambulance, apparently shot in the chest.
The young girl died less than an hour later in a local hospital, police said.
“That was her only daughter. She was a good mother.”
– Citlaoy Plascencia, neighbor
The researchers identified the children, who are reportedly both lived in the same house with their mothers, nephews and nieces. Family and neighbors were overwhelmed by the tragedy.
“That was her only daughter. She was a good mother,” neighbor Citlaoy Plascencia told NBC Los Angeles.
“This is negligence here,” neighbor Dantra Lewis told the San Bernardino Sun. “I know these people hurt, but a 4-year-old would not know where a gun is kept, let alone have access to it.”
Investigation continues into the accidental shooting of a two year old; Grandfather arrested for child endangerment https://t.co/7FOxTuMTnV
— San Bernardino County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) July 21, 2018
The researchers interviewed several adults who were present at the house during the shooting and determined Lopez had the gun in an unprotected place where the children could find.
The names of the children were not released. The investigation is ongoing, police said.