The pre-schooler, about 4 years old, “found an unsecured pistol at home” and used it to shoot the toddler, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales.
He said in social media posts shared Tuesday evening that the toddler sustained injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, and had been taken to a hospital for treatment.
The toddler was apparently shot in the leg, CBS affiliate KHOU reported. Citing comments from deputies at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the station said later on Tuesday night that the toddler had undergone surgery at the hospital and was recovering. The toddler is expected to be okay, the station reported.
An investigation is underway to determine how the child was able to find a loaded gun and fire it. Investigators will also investigate whether adults were in the home with the 4-year-old and the toddler at the time of the shooting. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office will work with a grand jury to decide if any charges will be filed in connection with the incident.
As of May 6, there were at least 113 unintentional shootings by children in the U.S., resulting in 47 deaths and 68 injuries nationwide, according to the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. In 2022, the organization tracked at least 354 unintentional shootings by children, which resulted in 157 deaths and 212 injuries. Those numbers were down from the year before when 167 people were killed and another 248 were injured in at least 396 accidental shootings where a child fired the gun, according to the nonprofit.