Arizona toddler finds a handgun and fatally shoots 18-month-old brother

By Amanda Holtzer,

An 18-month-old boy died after his 3-year-old brother shot him in the head with a gun he found in the home of a family friend in Payson, Arizona, on Tuesday.

The brothers and their mother were visiting a family friend in an Arizona apartment complex. The boys found a semi-automatic gun that belonged to the man they were visiting. The 3-year-old picked up the gun, and pulled the trigger, killing his younger brother.

CBS affiliate KPHO reports that Payson Police Chief Don Engler said, “The children had slipped into another room unobserved by the mother and the 78-year-old occupant of the apartment.” The boys were out of sight for only moments before the gunshot was heard.

Several neighbors called the police when they heard the shot. When police arrived at the scene, the mother was standing in front of the apartments, crying and cradling her bleeding toddler.

The 18-month-old baby died at a Payson hospital in eastern Arizona.

The Associated Press reports that Police Chief Engler stated, “What we’re taking a look at is the circumstances regarding the securing of the weapon. We are continuing our investigation, and we haven’t ruled out criminal charges at this point.”



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