A young boy died after he accidentally shot himself at a home in the Leimert Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The gunfire was reported about 1:15 p.m. in the 2000 block of 41st Drive, east of Arlington Avenue, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Tony Im said.
Paramedics responded to treat a 5-year-old boy who was suffering from a gunshot wound, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange said. The young patient was rushed to a pediatric trauma center with severe injuries. He was ultimately pronounced dead, officials said.
Police said it initially appeared that the injury was self-inflicted.
One adult and several children under 12 years old were at the home when the shooting took place, officials said.
Neighbors told KTLA the child was in the care of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and had been placed at the home as a foster residence.
“The child who is deceased was placed here in the care of a guardian,” according to LAPD Lt. Kerri Potter. “So there is an open DCFS case with that child. So they would be evaluating the home and any other danger to other children that live in this home.”
Neighbors said the shooting left them shocked.
Renee Henry described the young victim as “a very, very sweet young boy.”
“We’ve known this family and grew up with them and knew all the children” she said. “A very decent family. We’re just so devastated.”
It was not yet clear whether anyone would face charges in connection with the shooting, Potter said. The law requires firearms be stored securely, out of the reach of children.
“We’re conducting the investigation to ensure there wasn’t any criminal activity in the home,” the lieutenant said. The family was cooperating with investigators.
KTLA’s Matt Phillips contributed to this report.