A 6-year-old girl died after she was accidentally shot by her 2-year-old brother Sunday in northeast Fresno.
The shooting took place in a quiet neighborhood on the 8500 block of North Boyd Avenue, where Fresno police Sgt. Stephen Viveros said the girl was playing with two other siblings in a bedroom of the family's home.
The toddler entered the room with a loaded semi-automatic handgun and fired a shot that struck and mortally wounded the girl.
Viveros said the children's father was in another room when the shooting occurred shortly after 11 a.m. Investigators are trying to determine where the toddler found the handgun and why it was not secured.
California law requires that weapons be kept out of the hands of children; parents and other adults who allow children access to guns can face felony charges. Viveros said investigators will determine whether to recommend that the district attorney prosecute the case.
A number of other weapons also found in the home were seized by officers, Viveros said. He implored parents to secure their guns to prevent similar incidents.
Five children, ages 2 to 15, lived in the home, he said.
Viveros said the parents were extremely distraught and are taking the girl's death "very, very hard."
A man sat in the front yard talking to police while holding his head in his hands. A police chaplain arrived quickly and rushed into the home.
The names of the girl and her family were not immediately released.
The neighborhood is in the Clovis Unified School District, but spokeswoman Kelly Avants did not know whether the girl attended a school in the district. If she did, Avants said, school psychologists would be on hand Tuesday to help students and staff deal with the death.