FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth toddler is in the hospital after police say he found a gun in his home and shot himself in the arm.
Police have not released the mother's name. They say she has been a victim of domestic violence in the past and purchased the gun for personal protection.
Police say the 3-year-old was wounded by a 9mm handgun. The investigation is still going, but it's believed the child's mother was keeping the gun under a pillow.
“We really haven't had a lot of incidents where children are shooting themselves with guns. But it’s always searching through things they shouldn't,” said Fort Worth Police Officer Tamara Valle. “They are busy bodies always trying to find things to get into. And when they do and they find that gun, it's just a bad situation
It's still not clear how the gun went off, but the bullet hit child's left arm. He was taken to Cook Children's Medical Center and is expected to recover.
So far, police are investigating the shooting as an accident. There were other children who live in the house, but police say they were in school.
Police say the mother was home with the 3-year-old and an infant sibling. People who saw the toddler at the hospital say he was alert and seemed to be doing alright.
The mother told police she recently got the gun for home protection.
“There really hasn't been an increase that I've noted,” said Valle. “But it's still wise to let people who have children in the house – if you have those weapons, just put them up. Don't let the children know where they are. Lock them up, and keep them safe.”
It’s not clear if any charges will be filed.