3-year-old finds gun, accidentally shoots himself, police say

Child in critical condition; gun was in holster attached to bed frame

By Ben Spicer - Web Producer, Sarah Acosta - Reporter, David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor, Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A 3-year-old boy was critically wounded in an accidental shooting Wednesday morning at a mobile home park on the city's Northwest Side.

According to a police report, the child grabbed a gun that was in a holster attached to a bed frame and accidentally shot himself in the stomach.

The boy was taken to University Hospital in critical condition.

The shooting was reported around 8 a.m. at the Northwest Trails mobile home park in the 7100 block of West Loop 1604.

The handgun belonged to the child's mother's boyfriend, who was at work when the shooting happened, police said.

The child's mother was asleep and two other siblings were also in the room when the shooting occurred.

The investigation is ongoing.

Police urge gun owners to take precautions to store guns in a safe place where children can't find them.

Safety measures are available in several different forms. There are options for each and every gun owner, and the prices are reasonable, some starting at just $10.

"Whether it's a semi-auto or even to include revolvers, a lot of folks do not know that they can put a lock in the cylinder to prevent a live round being in there -- to include a long gun, whether it's a shotgun or a rifle," said Johnny Castro, general sales manager and Department of Public Safety state-certified instructor at A Place To Shoot.

Castro has been around guns his entire life. He said safety should always be a priority and blames accidental shootings on poor habits.

"Every day that you handle a firearm, you treat it with respect, you treat it as if it was loaded," Castro said.

Castro said there are also common misconceptions when it comes to securing your weapon.

"Do not hide a gun. How many things have you found when you were a child that you shouldn't have found?" Castro said.

Castro believes every gun should be under lock and key, and he's doing his best to make that happen.

When in stock, A Place To Shoot offers free gun locks for anyone in need. All customers have to do is ask.

"We looked in the back, and we probably have about 100 locks that we can just give away," Castro said.

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