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Alto toddler killed in accidental shooting after getting access to an unsecured handgun

"People need to keep their weapons locked up."
Police lights (Stock photo)

CHEROKEE COUNTY — A 2-year-old was killed Thursday by an unsecured handgun in a Cherokee County home.

A mother and her two toddlers were visiting a relative on County Road 1209 in Alto when the incident happened, said Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell.

Campbell said the mother was putting on a movie for her 1-year-old and 2-year-old boys to watch when she and other relatives heard a popping sound.

Police believe the boys wandered into a bedroom and found a 40-caliber pistol on a nightstand. It’s unclear exactly how the boy got shot.

Family was unable to get cell service, so they drove the boy to UT-Health Rusk, where they were met by an ambulance, Campbell said.

EMTs worked on the boy, but he was pronounced dead by Cherokee County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Brenda Dominy at the scene.

His body will be sent for an autopsy, Campbell said.

Police are not releasing the name of the family or boy. The case is under investigation, but Campbell said no foul play is suspected and no one has been arrested.

“People need to keep their weapons locked up,” Campbell said. “People who don’t have children don’t lock them up like people who have children or those who have children come see them often. You never know who will come by to see you. They need to be out of sight where children can’t get ahold of them.”

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