TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — A Tampa Bay area toddler is dead after finding his father’s .380-caliber handgun in the family’s car Wednesday afternoon and shooting himself, officials said.
Kaleb Ahles, 2, was in the car while his parents Kevin Ahles and Christina Nigro, both 23, loaded boxes as they prepared to move, according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies. Somehow, the boy opened the glove compartment, where his father had stored the gun.
The child lifted the gun, turned it so that it faced his chest and squeezed the trigger, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
His parents told deputies they heard a loud pop and ran to the car. The mother performed CPR, and the boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“He probably barely got the trigger pulled,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. He described the gun as a lightweight weapon usually carried in a pocket or on a hip.
Gualtieri called the incident a “tragic situation.”
“It’s just one of those things that happens where everything happens the wrong way,” he said.
The sheriff said the parents won’t face criminal charges — no one could punish them more than they’ll punish themselves, he said.
The child’s grandfather, a retired Tampa police detective who is also named Kevin Ahles, stood near the police tape outside the house Wednesday evening. “A great little kid was killed today,” he said. “That’s all there is to say.”