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Baby Dies After Shotgun Goes Off in Rome, New York

A baby was fatally shot when a shotgun belonging to his mother’s boyfriend went off in their living room, police said.

Authorities found seven-month-old Nathaniel W. Hitt dead while responding to a report of an injured child at an apartment in Rome, New York, at around 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Tragic Shooting to Death of Infant as Gun Is Cleaned 2:26

Police said Henry W. Bartle, 18, had left the "shotgun laying on his lap with the muzzle pointed in the direction of the child" when he attempted to get up. The 12-gauge weapon fired as Bartle stood and the tot was struck in his upper body, according to Rome police.

Bartle, who lives with the child's mother, had earlier cleaned and then loaded the shotgun, officials said.

He has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Image: Henry W. Bartle
Henry W. Bartle, 18, of Rome, New York, is accused of criminally negligent homicide. Rome Police Department