4-Year-Old Boy Dies After Accidentally Shooting Himself

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LAKE COUNTY, Ill. – A 4-year-old Wheatfield boy died Saturday after he accidentally shot himself at a babysitter’s house in unincorporated Crown Point, officials said.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office announced that Eric Cole, 4, was pronounced dead at 12:06 p.m. at Franciscan Health Crown Point.

Mark Back, public information officer for the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, said Cole was at a babysitter’s house in the 7700 block of East 120th Street at 10:50 a.m. when he found a handgun in a case under a bed in an upstairs bedroom, reported the Chicago Tribune.

“The boy was able to open the case and handled the firearm, at which time the handgun fired a single round, fatally striking the boy,” Back said in the release.

The incident is being investigated as an accidental shooting. Investigators do not expect to file charges in the case, Back said.

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