A 2-year-old boy picked up a gun and accidentally shot his father inside their home in Gastonia, North Carolina, on Sunday.

The child found the gun lying on a table and began playing with it. The father was sitting on the couch when his son pulled the trigger, the boy's grandmother told WBTV. The toddler and his parents were reportedly visiting the boy's grandmother when the shooting took place.

Police rushed to the home on West Fifth Avenue and found 29-year-old Markovia Lashawn Durham dead with gunshot wounds.

Gastonia Police Criminal Investigations Division has launched a probe into the incident.

"A lot of people look at the situation and they think that the child knows that's a gun. That's dangerous and that's not always the case," Jennifer Fredell-Saucier, firearms instructor and owner of Southern Belle Firearms Training, told WSOC-TV. She said children mistake real guns for toys as they are sometimes hard to distinguish.

"Even children 7-10 years of age maybe do not understand the difference. They do not understand the harm that can come from a firearm," Fredell-Saucier said, adding that gun holders are responsible for the safety of their family and must duly secure them so a child can't get it.

People with information about the incident can help with the investigation by calling Detective Fleming at (704) 866-6878.

Earlier this month in Oklahoma, a teenager accidentally shot and killed his mother while handling a gun in the living room of their home. When he realized that he had shot his mom, the 16-year-old killed himself, police said at the time. The gun accidentally went off and the bullet traveled through a wall, hitting the boy's mother in the head. The teenager was taken to a hospital but could not be saved.

"To be handling this firearm and then it goes off, I'm sure that was terrifying in and of itself. But then to go around the corner and see the result of it, shooting your own mother, I can't imagine what he felt," Major Bradley Rule with the Del City Police Department said at the time.

Representation. A gun. Pixabay