Police still working to determine how toddler was able to get a gun and shoot himself

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police say the little boy somehow got his hands on a gun even though his dad was home at the time. Tragically, the child fired the gun, which claimed his short life.

"This child was very, very small and was able to get a gun and shoot himself. So that gun had to have been in the open somewhere, easily accessible to a child who is under three."

Neighbors were horrified to hear the news.

"That's terrible. That's terrible. It's heartbreaking because like I said, I do have a five-year-old daughter. That's tough. That's really tough."

Officers said they were called to the apartment complex on S. Bannister Road near Lydia at 1:13 a.m. Sunday morning. That's where they found the boy suffering from a gunshot wound.

He was taken to an area hospital where he died.  Neighbors said they're surprised to hear about the shooting, but say it could have been prevented.

"It's a quiet neighborhood but I mean, if a child accidentally gets a hold of a gun, the neighborhood doesn't really have anything to do with it. That's inside of the home. You've got to put that stuff up," a neighbor said.

Investigators told FOX 4 another child was home at the time of the shooting.

"A little young boy lost his life. We can't do that. We can't go and let a young kid take his own life. That's wrong. That's wrong."

Neighbors said something needs to be done, and it all starts with the parents.

"Get your kids together and protect your kids, because we're not protecting our kids; we're not taking care of things we need to do," said one neighbor.

Investigators are working to determine who owned the gun, and how the child was able to get a hold of it. At this point, no one is facing charges.

KCPD said this could have been prevented with a free gun lock, which are available at any police station.

Police said this is the fourth child under the age of 16 to die from being shot in Kansas City, Mo. this year.

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