A 4-year-old boy killed the wife of a Tennessee sheriff's deputy after picking up a gun at a weekend cookout. The child picked up the gun and mimed shooting her, but the gun was loaded. 

According to the Tennessean of Nashville, Josephine G. Fanning, 48, was killed by the unnamed 4-year-old on Saturday. Fanning brought the boy into a room where her husband, Wilson County Deputy Daniel Fanning, 51, was showing loaded guns to a relative. The lad then picked up the gun and fired at Josephine Fanning, who died at the scene. Alcohol was confirmed to be present at the scene. 

Sheriff Robert Bryan told the Associated Press on Monday that only seconds after Fanning placed the gun on the bed, the toddler grabbed it and fired on his wife.

The child is not related to Fannings.

According to Bryan, the gun that killed Fanning was not her husband’s service weapon, but a separate personal gun. Typically, he says, the weapons are kept in a locked safe, but they happened to be out and on display when the 4-year-old was in the room. Authorities do not believe he intended to kill Fanning.

The shooting “appears accidental at this time,’’ Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm told the Tennesseean.