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US Boy, 3, Fatally Shoots Himself With Loaded Gun Left Under Sofa

The incident occurred in Pennsylvania on March 28. (Representative pic)

A 28-year-old man in the United States has been charged after his 3-year-old son fatally shot himself with a handgun left under a couch. According to a press release by the Allentown Police Department, the incident occurred in Pennsylvania on March 28. The man, identified as Jose Hilario Abreu, was arraigned on Friday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in the death of his son, Elijah Abreu Borgen. He is accused of leaving a semi-automatic handgun unattended and loaded with a live cartridge in the chamber under the sofa where his son and a 2-year-old were sitting in his home. 

“Jose Hilario Abreu, of Allentown, is charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in which the victim is under 12 Years of Age and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of Children; violating a duty of care which creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury for a child age 6 and younger,” the press release read. 

The 28-year-old father told the cops that he placed his gun “under the sofa where the two children were sitting and left the room” on March 28. The police claim that the handgun was “fully loaded with a live cartridge in the chamber”. 

Later that morning, Mr Hilario heard “a loud bang” from the other room and found his 3-year-old son with a gunshot to the torso. The discharged gun lay on a pillow beside the two children, police said. 

“A rapid gunshot residue test was performed on Elijah after his death and yielded a presumptive positive indication for gunshot residue on his hands,” the press note added. 

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The child’s mother called 911, saying her son had “grabbed a gun and shot himself in the chest,” per police. The 3-year-old was then rushed to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries. His death was ruled accidental, the cops said. 

Jose Hilario Abreu was booked into Lehigh County Jail, with bail set at $250,000 cash. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing this Friday. 

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