Police ID toddler who shot himself

Prince George’s County police have identified the 2-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed himself Monday night in his family’s Oxon Hill apartment as Davion S. Prince, authorities said Tuesday.

Investigators believe the gun Prince used was unsecured and “in an area where he could reach it,” said Julie Parker, a Prince George’s County police spokeswoman. She declined to be more specific and said she did not know who owned the gun or whether it was obtained legally.

Parker said detectives were working with the state’s attorney’s office to determine whether criminal charges might be warranted. In the wake of the incident, police warned gun owners to store weapons unloaded and in locked areas.

“What this is is a horrific tragic reminder to anyone who has a gun in a home with a child to take the proper precautions to keep the gun safe,” Parker said.

Police were called to the apartment in the 6200 block of Oxon Hill Road just before 8 p.m. Tuesday and arrived to find young Prince suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, authorities said. He was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, authorities said.

Prince’s mother, who was in a separate room from her son, told investigators she heard the sound of a gunshot and went into the other room to find her son fatally wounded, authorities said. Law enforcement sources said the physical evidence indicated the boy had shot himself, though they declined to detail that evidence because the investigation is ongoing.

Police officials said it would not be impossible for such a young child to wield and pull the trigger on a gun.

“It needs less than a pound of pressure to pull the trigger,” said Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a Prince George’s police spokesman. “It’s not very difficult to do.”

A woman entering Prince’s apartment Tuesday declined to comment.

Staff researcher Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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