GARY, Ind. — A 5-year-old Chicago boy died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after he found a gun inside his relative’s Gary home, police said.
A 32-year-old man told police he was given permission by the home’s residents to visit and check on the boy and a 17-year-old Chicago girl while the adults were away.
The man told officers he arrived at the home early Wednesday after a night out and, believing he was alone, “he placed his handgun down and fell asleep,” the Gary Police Department said in a statement.
He told the police he was “awakened by a loud noise and saw that the child was shot,” the statement said. The man told police he believed the child had accidentally shot himself.
He drove the boy to a hospital, where he died from his injuries Wednesday morning.
Officers detained the man, who has not been charged as police continue investigating the shooting, Commander Samuel Roberts of Gary police said Thursday.
He said investigators are reviewing evidence and asking the public to provide tips while they work to determine “if it was indeed an accident or something other than an accident.”