Police: Texas toddler dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound

image copyrightKHOU
image captionChristopher Williams Jr and his father

A two-year-old boy in Houston has died after shooting himself in the head with an unsecured gun that he found inside his home, according to Texas police.

The parents of the child - Christopher Williams Jr - were home at the time of the afternoon shooting, police say.

Police believe a 9mm handgun found at the scene is owned by the boy's father. It was unclear if the parents will face charges.

Several US children accidentally shot and killed themselves in recent days.

The Houston Police Department (HPD) say they are trying to determine how the boy - nicknamed "Junior" - accessed the gun before the shooting around 12:50 local time (17:50 GMT) on Sunday.

In a news conference HPD Special Victims Captain David Angelo appealed to gun-owning parents to take precautions.

"You need to secure the weapons, whether it's a trigger guard or some sort of safe to keep the weapons secured so nothing like this happens in the future," he said, calling the death "a tragic, tragic incident".

The boy's cousin, Suzanne Alvarado, told ABC 13 that the victim "doesn't deserve this. He's a great little boy with a lot of life to live."

According to the Houston Chronicle, the boy's father Christopher Charles Williams, was convicted in 2009 of being a felon in possession of a handgun.

image copyrightFamily handout/ KHOU
image captionChristopher Williams Jr, died on Sunday in Houston.

Ms Alvarado described him as a "hands-on father".

"Twenty four hours a day, he's with his son. He's better than most dads you'll run into."

On Monday, Houston police charged another father for the accidental self-inflicted shooting of his two-year-old son in May.

Ali Parvez Masoom, 32, is accused of leaving his .308 handgun on a table where his son was able to access it and shoot himself in the face.

Mr Masoom was released after paying a $1,000 (£750) bond and is currently facing a misdemeanour charge of making a firearm accessible to a child.

On Saturday, a two-year-old boy in Fresno, California was killed in a similar incident.

The parents of the child - who has not been identified - were not at home when the boy was able to get hold of a pistol and accidentally shoot himself in the head.

According to the Fresno Bee, the two adults that were in the home at the time of the shooting were the fiancee of the boy's father and a family friend.

image copyrightRichmond County Sheriff’s Office
image captionJustin Foss Sr was charged after his son's accidental death

In a statement, police said the shooting "appears to be a tragic accident", adding that detectives from the Street Violence Bureau and Family Justice Bureau were investigating to determine if any charges were warranted.

The father of four-year-old Justin Foss Jr, who accidentally killed himself with a gun on Saturday, has been charged in Georgia.

Justin Foss Sr, 27, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after the boy found the gun under a couch in the family's home, police say.

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a four-year-old child is in critical condition after accidentally shooting himself in a resort hotel room on Saturday.

Police have charged the boy's parents - Heather Lyn Odom and Jeremy Jermaine Barrett - with unlawful neglect of a child.

Investigators say the boy was alone in a hotel room when he discovered a .38 caliber handgun in his mother's purse and shot himself.

The North Carolina couple was in court on Sunday and wept throughout their hearing, according to local media.

They were released on their own recognizance pending trial in September, and each face up to a decade in jail if convicted.