Police in Osceola County, Florida, are investigating an incident that occurred Monday evening in which a 2-year-old boy apparently shot himself, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The boy reportedly shot himself with a small caliber gun around St. Cloud, located about 25 miles from Orlando, and was in critical condition as of Tuesday morning after being airlifted to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando.
Details were sparse as of Tuesday morning, but detectives in the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said evidence does suggest the shooting was accidental. “They are talking to individuals that were at the residence, possibly in the residence and we have forensics out gathering some evidence,” Twis Lizasuain, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office media relations director, said of the police investigation to WFTV in Orlando.
The shooting comes amid a national debate over gun regulations and fears over guns falling into the hands of people too young to know how to properly operate them. There were at least 265 instances of people under the age of 18 accidentally shooting someone else or themselves, according to data compiled by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy organization.
Of the 265 shootings, 83 were fatal, with children accidentally killing themselves 41 times, according to the Washington Post. The most common shooters who fired accidentally were toddlers, followed by teenagers playing recklessly.
It is unknown how the 2-year-old in Florida got access to the gun used in the shooting. Some 28 states and Washington, D.C., have laws that hold gun owners liable in some degree if children can access their guns, Everytown said in a 2014 paper.
— Tom Johnson (@FOX35Tom) January 5, 2016
In Florida, it is a crime to leave a gun within the easy reach of children if the child accesses the gun, the Washington Post reported. Anyone who doesn’t store a gun properly in Florida is criminal liable if a minor gets access to the gun without permission and either displays it in a public place or exhibits in in a careless or threatening manner.