A 3-year-old boy woke up in his home early Tuesday morning, went to the garage, found a gun in a car and shot himself in the head by accident, police in southwest Missouri say.
Officers with the Monett Police Department were called to a home on the 500 block of Pleasant Street just after 6 a.m. for an "unattended death," and found the body of Anthony Latorre Jr., according to a news release from police.
Police said they met with family members at the home shortly after they arrived Tuesday morning. According to The Joplin Globe, it was the father who found his son's body.
Anthony had a single gunshot wound to his head, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities believe the boy had woken up, went to the garage and was playing in the family car before his death. He found a semi-automatic pistol inside the car, and "accidentally discharged the weapon," police said.
The toddler's body has since been taken to Springfield for an autopsy.
Police said the death investigation is ongoing, pending results from the autopsy.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Barry County coroner are assisting in the investigation.
"It's unfortunate no matter what," Monett Police Chief George Daoud told KY3 in an interview. "The loss of life at any point in time, especially when you deal with a young child like this, we hate that, and that's why we'll do our best to make sure that we do a good job investigating it and thorough."