CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP -- State police are reminding people with small children about the importance of gun safety after a 4-year-old boy shot himself in the face Sunday in the Poconos.
State troopers say it is very easy for children to get their hands on a gun if it is not properly stored.
Police are still trying to figure out how the child got his hands on that gun Sunday at his home near Brodheadsville. In the meantime, they are offering safety tips to prevent the situation from happening again.
Rebecca Achey still can't believe what happened just up the street from her home near Brodheadsville over the weekend. Investigators say a 4-year-old boy died after shooting himself in the face. The incident hits home for her. She has a 4-year-old grandson.
"A hard situation and people just need to be very cautious and remember safety," Achey said.
State police at the Fern Ridge barracks are investigating and trying to figure out how the child got his hands on the gun.
Sgt. Joseph Racho says incidents like this are why it's always important to practice gun safety, especially when children are around.
"They might grab a firearm not knowing what it is," said Sgt. Racho. "Maybe it looks similar to one of their toys and they can pull the trigger and it can go off just like that."
Officials say it is very easy for a gun to get into the hands of a small child if it is not properly stored. That's why they suggest putting it in a safe or using a gun lock.
Sgt. Racho demonstrated what a gun lock does and looks like. It's essentially a lock that prevents the gun from being loaded.
"They are very cheap and they definitely will save a life because if there is a gun lock on them, there is no way that anyone can put a cartridge into the chamber and fire the firearm."
An autopsy on the boy is scheduled for Tuesday.
Officials say they need to wait for those results before deciding whether to file criminal charges.