|Julio Segura-McIntosh, age 3|
A couple stopped at a service station in Tacoma. The driver put his loaded pistol under his seat and got out to pump gas. His girlfriend got out to go inside the service station. Meanwhile, her 3-year old son was in the back seat and got out of his carseat, then found the gun and shot himself in the head, dying from the wound.
The boy's sister, aged around 1 year old, was also in the car but was unharmed.
The gun owner was a previously law-abiding citizen with a valid conceal carry license, but broke the law by not having the gun on him at all times or unloaded and locked in a lockbox.
From the article:
“It’s another tragedy in a very short period of time,” [police spokesman] Benjamin said.
It highlights the need for people to secure guns, he said.
“You can’t predict what children are going to do,” he said. “You need to unload and lock it up if you’re not carrying it.”
“And keep it out of the hands of children,” Benjamin said. “It’s really not that hard to practice firearm safety.”UPDATE (3/28/12): According to THIS article, the 3-year old boy's name was Julio Segura-McIntosh.
“It would be conduct that would be a gross deviation from what a reasonable person would do,” he said. “Based on what I have heard so far, this could constitute reckless conduct that is a gross deviation from a reasonable person would do.”
Tacoma police called the boy’s death - the third shooting of a child in less than a month in Western Washington – an accident and a tragedy.
The boy’s mother, Jahnisha McIntosh, told KOMO-TV that her son’s death was “just overwhelming.”
“I just want my baby,” she said. “I’ll do anything to get my baby back.”
McIntosh told KOMO son was an energetic and loving child.
“He was just always on the go,” she said. “He was happy, and he was telling me that he loves me. He just was very caring. He was very smart. Very smart.”
Many questions about what happened remained unanswered. Police have not said why the adults and children were out late. They were in a car with Oregon license plates but police said they lived in Tacoma.
Investigators also have not said why the boyfriend left the gun in the car or how Julio got out of his car seat - whether he was unbuckled or wriggled free from the harness.
The boyfriend has a concealed weapons permit and legally owned the gun, Benjamin said.
(a related article).