A 3-year-old has died after being shot in the head Saturday evening at his family's home near Broad Ripple Park, IMPD officials confirmed. Investigators said they believe the child did it himself.
Police said the child was shot in the head with a handgun. The incident occurred on the 1800 block of East 68th Street, just a few blocks north of Broad Ripple Park.
UPDATE at 9:25 a.m. Sunday: IMPD Lt. Christopher Bailey said investigators believe the child shot himself after pulling the gun off a kitchen counter. Lt. Bailey said detectives are still investigating and once they're done, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office will review the case to see if criminal charges need to be filed.
"I think it's fair to say it's gut-wrenching, if I can describe it as such, anytime you see a young child who has these types of injuries," IMPD officer Christopher Wilburn said. "During this time of year, your heart really breaks."
Wilburn said the 3-year-old was inside when he was shot, and that his parents and a 4-year-old sister were also home. The boy was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children in critical condition. He later died of his injuries.
"I'm in shock. I can't believe it," said neighbor Ron Price, who rents a room in the same subdivided home as the child's family. "I mean, I've known him since the day he came home. I've seen him grow up and start walking and talking and saying different things, and I've got six grandkids that age and older and younger. I just can't understand it."
Police said they were alerted of the incident just after 6 p.m. Saturday after a 911 caller stated a "gun went off and struck a child."
"I've known they had guns; they've carried them in public on their side, they've got permits for them and I just thought they always were a little bit more responsible than that," Price said.
The child's parents and sister were transported to IMPD headquarters for questioning.
"If there's anything to learn from this, it's don't leave any weapons unattended in your home, because these sorts of things happen," Wilburn said.
Police said per standard protocol they are investigating the incident as a possible crime. No arrests have been made and no one has been charged with a crime at this time.
This is a developing story. Check back with RTV6 frequently for updates.