3-year-old boy dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound, CMPD says

CHARLOTTE — A three-year-old boy was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon at an east Charlotte apartment complex, police said.

Officers were called to an apartment at Wendover Gardens around 5:30 p.m. on Eastway Drive, north of Central Avenue.

The child got a hold of an unsecured handgun and shot himself, CMPD Maj. Bret Balamucki said Wednesday night.

The toddler was taken to a hospital where he died, police said.

“If you own firearms for your own safety in your own home, you have to keep them secured and locked,” Balamucki said.

CMPD believes the gun belonged to a parent at the apartment.

“A tragedy like this should wake us all up on understanding the importance of the responsibility we all have,” Balamucki said.

He said it’s not just a responsibility, it’s a North Carolina law that weapons must be locked away from children.

“Wherever you think you may have hidden that weapon, if it’s loaded and it doesn’t have a lock on it that the child can’t defeat, then potentially they could gain access to it,” Balamucki said.

There could be charges in the ongoing investigation.

No further information was released.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: One person seriously hurt in north Charlotte shooting)