A 3-year-old boy fatally shot himself with a gun he found in a car while his family stopped for gas in Washington state today, police told the Associated Press, marking western Washington's third recent shooting by a child. “It is incredible in light of the other ones,” said Tacoma police Officer Naveed Benjamin. “You would think people would take more care, not less.”
A man had put a pistol under the seat and got out to pump gas while the boy's mother went inside the convenience store. They left her son and her boyfriend's 4- or 5-year-old daughter in the car. The boy climbed out of his back-seat child seat, found the gun and shot himself in the head, police said. “You can't predict what children are going to do,” Benjamin said. “You need to unload and lock it up if you're not carrying it. [ ] It's really not that hard to practice firearm safety.” Twenty-seven states have a law to prevent child access to firearms. Such laws can include criminal penalties for adults who allow children to get their hands on guns, but Washington lacks such a law, says the San Francisco-based Legal Community Against Violence.