PAYSON, Ariz. -- A toddler accidentally shot and killed his younger brother at a Payson apartment on Tuesday.
According to the Payson Police Department, the boys were playing in an apartment at 303 S. Ash Street at around noon when they discovered a gun.
The 3-year-old shot the 18-month-old in the head. The victim was rushed to Payson Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The mother and the two children were visiting a 78-year-old friend at his apartment which is in the same complex where they live.
They had only been there 10 or 15 minutes when the boys got into another room where they found the gun.
Police said, the mother was looking for the boys and just as she walked through the door of that room the 3-year-old boy fired the gun.
There were several 911 calls about a child with a head injury.
Police questioned witnesses and neighbors and the child's mother to figure out how the children got access to the gun.
The semi-automatic gun was not locked up, according to Payson Police Chief Don Engler.
"We still intend to serve a search warrant at that location and gather further information," said Chief Engler.
Police said there were multiple weapons in that apartment and the gun the boys found was not locked up. Investigators are not ruling out the possibility of charges against the mother and her friend.
Click here to view press release from Payson Police Dept.
Click here to view second press release from Payson Police Dept.
Police: 3-year-old shot, killed younger brother
PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A police chief in central Arizona says a 3-year-old boy shot and killed his 1 1/2 -year-old brother after the boys found a handgun in a neighbor's apartment.
Payson Police Chief Don Engler says his department's investigation of the Tuesday shooting will take about a week. He says results will be forwarded to the Gila County Attorney's Office for a decision on whether to prosecute anybody.
Engler says the probe centers on the securing of the gun, which he says was not in plain sight in the living area of the neighbor's apartment.
The boys and their mother were visiting the neighbor when the boys found the semi-automatic handgun and took it to another room. Engler says neither adult knew the boys had the weapon.
Payson is about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix.
Names of those involved weren't released.
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Payson Chief Engler addressing media about shooting death of 18 mo old @azfamily— Tanya Mendis (@tanyamendis) May 28, 2014
First 911 calls came in as unknown injuries. Later calls said baby had been shot in head. Mother carrying baby, crying when police arrived— Tanya Mendis (@tanyamendis) May 28, 2014
3 yr old got hands on gun and shot 18 month old. Children were in family friend's apartment, went into another room when mom wasn't looking— Tanya Mendis (@tanyamendis) May 28, 2014
Semi automatic handgun. Police do not believe the gun was locked up. Mother was entering the room when the shot was fired.— Tanya Mendis (@tanyamendis) May 28, 2014
There were other guns in the house, police say. Police are serving a search warrant, investigating whether gun was registered.— Tanya Mendis (@tanyamendis) May 28, 2014
More information as it becomes available