A four-year-old Louisiana boy fatally shot himself in the head while he was in a car with two other minors, police said. According to PEOPLE, the tragic incident occurred last weekend, and authorities said the firearm, which was in the backseat, belonged to the deceased minor’s father. The weapon was also said to be unsecured at the time of the incident.
In a press briefing last Monday, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said an autopsy ruled Jarion Walker’s death as a self-inflicted contact wound to the front of the head. The minor’s cause of death was also confirmed by ballistics.
Lopinto also said Walker’s mother and another adult were in the car’s front seats at the time of the incident, and they told police they smoked marijuana in the vehicle prior to the fatal shooting. Police also concluded the two other minors in the vehicle – a one-year-old and a 22-month-old – were too young to have unintentionally opened fire.
The deceased minor’s mother and the other adult told officials they did not know there was a firearm in the car. They also said they were unaware Walker had managed to grab hold of the weapon until they heard a gunshot, PEOPLE reported. The minor later succumbed to his injury at a hospital.
“These kinds of deaths can certainly be prevented,” said Lopinto. “Gun safety is something that is apparent and we should never leave a gun inside a vehicle for various reasons, this one being one of the most tragic reasons.”
No arrests have been made so far as authorities explained they felt it wasn’t proper to do so. “They just lost a child, it certainly wasn’t intentional by any means. When we collect all the evidence, we’ll see where it goes,” Lopinto said.
Officials also urged the public to practice firearm safety to avert such tragic incidents.