A 2-year-old boy fatally shot himself at a home in Texas after he found a gun inside a family member's bag Wednesday.

Deputies with the Waco Police Department arrived at the University Club Apartments on Wednesday evening after receiving reports of a shooting incident. The officers found the toddler with a gunshot wound to the head. He was rushed to a local hospital but he succumbed to his injuries a few hours later, KCEN TV reported.

Investigators said the toddler, whose identity was not revealed due to his age, accidentally shot himself after locating the firearm in a relative's backpack.

"While at the scene, investigators learned that the 2-year-old victim had located a firearm in a backpack belonging to an adult family member," police said, KXXV reported.

Right after the shooting, the owner of the gun fled the scene with the weapon. The 21-year-old family member, who was not identified, was later detained and was charged with tampering with physical evidence.

"At this time it is believed that the victim may have accidentally shot himself with the firearm after finding it. After the shooting happened, the owner of the firearm took the weapon and fled the scene, but later returned and was taken into custody," police said.

It wasn't clear if any other family member was present at the home when the incident took place.

A recent study by the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety showed that accidental gunshot deaths by kids jumped 31% during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 98 accidental shooting deaths were reported from March through December 2019, while there were 128 cases over the same period in 2020. At least 259 unintentional shootings by children have been reported across the United States so far in 2021, which resulted in 104 deaths and 168 injuries.

A 10-year-old boy in Philadelphia died last month after accidentally shooting himself while playing with his younger sister. The children were alone in the house when the incident took place. The children located the gun in a cabinet and "the 10-year-old discharged the weapon into his own head," police said at the time.

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Representation. A gun. Pixabay
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