A 2-year-old girl died after a 4-year-old boy somehow got hold of a gun and accidentally shot her in Muscoy on Friday morning, and the children’s grandfather was later arrested, authorities said.
About 9:15 a.m., deputies and medical personnel responded to a report of a 2-year-old shooting victim in the 2700 block of Duffy Street, according to Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
When first responders arrived, they confirmed the toddler had been shot, she said.
The little girl was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
She has not been identified by authorities, but neighbors told KTLA her name was Aliya.
The two children lived in the same house and were identified by the Sheriff’s Department as cousins.
Neighbor Citlaly Plasencia said the girl’s family was devastated.
“I know how much she loved her daughter,” she said of the 2-year-old’s mom. “It’s very sad, and I never want that to happen to anybody.”
Detectives interviewed several of the adults who were inside the home at the time and determined that the children’s grandfather, 53-year-old Cesar Lopez, had left the gun unsecured in a spot the children could get it, officials said in a later news release.
The grandfather was subsequently arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Bachman noted that everyone who was present was being “very cooperative.”
Still, neighbor Bubba McBath called it a “terrible situation.”
“The gun should have been put up in a safe place with a cabinet lock,” he said.
No other information was released.
KTLA’s Erika Martin contributed to this report.
Deputies responded to a home in Muscoy reference a shooting. Preliminary investigation leads investigators to believe that a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old cousin. Investigation continues & updates will be provided as new information becomes available.
— San Bernardino County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) July 20, 2018