Toddler accidentally shoots and kills dad whilst playing with loaded gun

A father has sadly died after his two-year-old son reportedly shot him in the back when playing around with a gun.

The incident occurred at around 8.40pm on Saturday in St Louis in Missouri, US.

The man in his 20s was pronounced dead at the scene after police found him unconscious and not breathing.

At the time of the shooting a woman was also at the home in the Peabody Darst Webbe neighbourhood, south of downtown St Louis.

It is not yet clear whether the woman will be facing any charges in relation to the incident, with homicide detectives currently investigating what happened.

St Louis Police Department told Newsweek that there were no further updates to the investigation as of Monday afternoon.

Local gun safety advocates have described the shooting as "heart-breaking" and stressed the role that gun locks can play in preventing accidental shootings.

Cathy Gilbert, co-chair of the group Women's Voices for Social Justice, told KSDK-TV: "Always this news is heart-breaking.

"But when I heard about this I thought, people think two-year-olds can't possibly pull a trigger.

"But they have that strength. So many people have a young child around and they think – nothing will happen. But it does.

"There's been research that shows securing guns does reduce the incidence of unintentional shootings involving children."

According to the Gun Violence Archive there have been a staggering 1,789 accidental shootings in the US in 2021 alone.

Furthermore, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in 2020 there were at least 369 accidental shootings by children.

142 of those cases resulted in death, meaning that last year a child in the US accidentally shot and killed someone every 2.7 days.

Earlier this month two children in Texas were hospitalised after a four-year-old boy accidentally shot himself and a two-year-old with a handgun. Luckily neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

On August 1 this year, another four-year-old boy accidentally discharged a loaded gun in Milwaukee, killing his two-year-old brother.

The father, Giovanni Smith, who owned the gun, was charged with neglect of a child resulting in death.

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