Police tape
A Texas off-duty border patrol agent was killed in a Christmas day crash near Uvalde, Texas. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

A South Carolina man has been charged with murder after authorities said he gave his three-year-old son a gun in Warrenville, South Carolina and the gun went off and killed the second man as the child had been asked to chase him around a yard, reports said Wednesday.

Aiken County Sheriff’s Sgt. Stephen Shunn said that witnesses told deputies, Timothy Johnson, 24, had been shot in the chest Tuesday afternoon when the gun reportedly went off as the child had been carrying it outside a home in Warrenville, according to Patch.com.

Albert Davis, 31, was charged with murder, Shunn said in a statement and he has also been charged with possession of a stolen handgun and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Shunn added.

Davis reportedly gave the gun to his child on Tuesday and asked him to chase Johnson around the yard of a Warrenville, home, authorities said, when the gun went off and struck Johnson in the chest.

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt told ABC News affiliate WJBF: "We are stunned. The bottom line is that one should not give a kid a gun and tell him to go get somebody."

"This whole thing started by folks hanging out, probably not doing the right thing to start with, and giving a child a gun and telling the child get him. That's not proper," Hunt added.

Deputies have been investigating why Davis gave the child the gun or what was the motive behind the incident and whether Davis was angry at Johnson, Shunn told the Associated Press. Neither of Davis’ court nor his jail records indicated whether he has an attorney.

It is also not yet clear who currently has the custody of the three-year-old boy.

Deaths and other fatal incidents involving children, toddlers and guns have been far more common than people might have guessed in the past few years.

In April 2016, a Milwaukee mother was accidentally shot and killed by her two-year-old son, who fired a handgun he was said to have discovered in the backseat of their car. Patrice Price, 26, had been driving her boyfriend's car when a gun reportedly slid out from under the driver's seat and her 2-year-old son picked it up accidentally and fired it from the back seat, which hit his mother in the back, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, the two-year-old was the 77th child in 2016 in the country to have fired a gun accidentally and harmed someone. The number included children aged 17 years and younger.

In 2015, 13 toddlers aged three years or younger accidentally killed themselves with a firearm, 18 injured themselves, two killed other people and 10 harmed others, according to a Washington Post report.

Most of these incidents involving toddlers with guns occurred due to unsecured handguns found by the children in purses and closets and underneath car seats present around them, Washington Post had reported.