4-year-old boy shoots himself with gun in his apartment

Police on scene of an apartment complex where there are reports of a child shot. (WTHR Photo/Rich Nye)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Police are investigating a shooting that wounded a child on the northeast side of Indianapolis Monday.

IMPD officers rushed to the Pangea Prairies Apartments at 46th Street and Arlington Avenue just before noon Monday to respond to a person shot. They found a four-year-old boy who apparently shot himself with a handgun he found in his apartment, accessible and loaded.

"Most people feel that they need a gun to protect them even in their homes, so I can understand having a loaded gun," said Surena Conway, who has lived at Pangea Prairies Apartments for about five years. "But you have to be knowledgeable where you have it and where your kids are."

The boy was rushed to the hospital and was listed in serious condition at last report. Even if someone feels the need to keep a loaded gun in their home, police stress the importance of knowing where that gun is at all times.

"If you're not with your gun, it has to be safe," said IMPD Ofc. Genae Cook. "It has to be locked up. It has to be in an area where a child cannot get their hands on it. It's just unacceptable not to have it that way."

Tony Lewis has lived right across the street from the apartment complex for 35 years.

"It's not acceptable," said Lewis. "Why would I have a weapon where my child or my grandchild can get to it?"

Police have not said if the gun was legally owned or to whom it belongs. Eyewitness News was asked to leave the property by apartment complex staff, so we were not able to talk to anyone who knows the boy that was shot.

This shooting comes just a little more than a week after two other young children found a shotgun in a closet in an east side home and fired it, hurting them both. Some states have gun storage laws that require gun owners to put away their guns a certain way and out of the reach of children, but Indiana is not one of those states.