• First responders arrived at the scene but were unable to save the child
  • The parents, who were at home at the time, could be charged with negligent homicide
  • At least 18 children were reportedly involved in unintentional shootings in 2020

A 3-year-old child died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an apartment in Taylorsville, Utah, police said.

Cops responded to a 911 call made by one of the toddler's parents at around 12:15 a.m. Thursday from the Thornhill Park apartment complex near 5600 South Redwood Road. The parent told the responders that their child suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, KSLTV reported.

When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they attempted life-saving measures to save the child. However, the toddler succumbed to his injuries moments later.

"Officers and medical arrived and medical worked on the child but pronounced the child deceased on the scene," Sgt. Aaron Cheshire said.

A press release by Taylorsville Police Department said the parents were awake and in the home when the toddler got hold of an unsecured firearm.

"A tragic accident, it is believed at this time that the toddler accessed an unsecured firearm," Cheshire added.

Trina Schmidt, who lives in the same apartment complex, appeared emotional while talking about the deceased toddler. "My heart breaks for this family, that's all and just the loss, there's no judgment at all," she told Fox13Now.

"It makes me really sad that something like that even happened, especially like right across from my apartment," Jade Rettberg, another resident of the building, told ABC4.

It was unclear how the boy got his hands on the gun. An investigation into the matter was underway and both parents were reportedly cooperating with the officials to help determine what led to the shooting. Meanwhile, the identities of the child and the parents were not revealed by the authorities.

"We're just conducting our investigation, interviewing witnesses and the parents at this time," Cheshire said.

Police said parents could face a potential charge of negligent homicide or something similar. The District Attorney's Office will issue possible charges once the investigation ends.

Terri Gilfillan, board chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, said at least 18 children were reportedly involved in unintentional shootings in 2020. The Gun Violence Prevention Center keeps a track of gun-related accidents and deaths in the region.

"It's so sad," Gilfillan said. "What we're seeing is kind of an uptick in the last few years."

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At least 18 children were reportedly involved in unintentional shootings in 2020. [Representational image] Brett_Hondow/Pixabay