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Gardena boy, 12, dies after accidentally shooting himself at home

October 15, 2009 |  6:27 pm

A 12-year-old Gardena boy died this morning after he accidentally shot himself in the head Wednesday with his parents' handgun, police said.

The boy and his two younger siblings were being watched by a 14-year-old cousin when the shooting occurred about 5:45 p.m., according to police. The boy was alone in an upstairs bedroom.

"The gun was properly secured by the parents. ... Somehow the child was able to get to it," said Lt. Steven Prendergast of the Gardena Police Department.

At the time, one parent was working, and the other was running errands, police said.

Prendergast said the investigation was still ongoing, but he added that initial evidence indicates that no criminal charges will be filed.

"It was just a tragic accident," he said. "It's just terrible."

After officers arrived at the home in the 14600 block of South Berendo Avenue, they began administering CPR while they waited for an ambulance to arrive. The boy was taken to UCLA-Harbor Medical Center. His name was not released.

--Robert J. Lopez