A six-year-old Indiana boy accidentally shot and killed his father after the child found a gun on a desk in the family’s home.
Police in Hartsville responded to a call of a person being shot around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Deputies found James Lonaker, 62, suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body.
Police believe Lonaker’s son picked up the 38-calibre revolver and fired a single shot, striking his father.
According to FOX 59 News, the man’s wife and one-year-old were inside the home at the time of the shooting. Police said no one else was injured.
“You hate to hear about like that. It’s a sad story,” a neighbour of the family told FOX News. “Just didn’t think that would happen. I just saw them outside playing the other day.”
Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers said the “tragic accident” could have been easily avoided.
“This was a tragic accident. Please make certain that firearms in your homes are not accessible to anyone – especially children,” Myers said in a statement. “Many firearms accidents in the home can be prevented simply by making sure that firearms are kept unloaded and safely stored, with ammunition secured in a separate location.
“This is a tragedy that is told and retold all across the country and a tragedy that can be avoided.”
Lonaker was pronounced dead en route to a local hospital.
Juli Lonaker, a daughter from her father’s first marriage, told the Daily Journal the family is concerned about the wellbeing of the child who fatally shot his own father.
“We care about his future,” Juli said. “We can tell his heart is broken. He has told us his daddy is in heaven.”