3-year-old boy in Frederick dies of gunshot wound to head, fired gun found nearby

Mom had reported boy had apparently fallen

FREDERICK, Colo. - Frederick police are investigating after a 3-year old boy was killed by a gunshot wound to the head Monday morning.

Frederick Police Chief Gary Barbour said the boy's mother called 911 at 9:45 a.m. after she found her son unconscious and bleeding. Despite the large amounts of blood, she thought he had fallen and hit his head, and "was bleeding from a head wound," Barbour said.

She also reported the boy was not breathing.

When police and fire paramedics arrived, they found a semiautomatic handgun near the preschooler's head.  His body was next to the mother's bed.

"It appeared to have been fired," Barbour wrote in an emailed news release.

Chief Barbour later confirmed to 7NEWS that the semiautomatic gun was legally owned by the boy's parents. One round had bounced off a wall, leaving blood spatter evidence behind.

The boy was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital by ambulance and pronounced dead around 11:15 a.m.

The child had severe skull trauma, Barbour said.

Barbour says the situation remains under investigation. It's not clear who fired the gun, the chief said.

Only the boy and his mother were home at the time, Barbour said.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is helping with the investigation. No one has been arrested.

The chief hasn't shared the name of the family or the address of the incident, pending notification of the boy's family.

"He was a little fellow, about that big," said next door neighbor Glen Lavanchy. "He had a problem with one of his legs, he walked with a limp."

Neighbors said the family moved into the house a few months ago and kept to themselves.

"They always had different cars from different states [in the driveway]," said neighbor Ann Cooper. "So they always had kind of out-of-state plates."