A 3-year-old Payson boy shot and killed his 1½ -year-old brother after the boys found a handgun in a neighbor's apartment and took it to another room, the eastern Arizona town's police chief said Wednesday.
Police Chief Don Engler said his department's investigation of the Tuesday shooting will take about a week. Resultswill be forwarded to the Gila County Attorney's Office for a decision on whether to prosecute anybody, he said.
"What we're taking a look at is the circumstances regarding the securing of the weapon" and how the boys were able to get ahold of it, Engler told The Associated Press. "We are continuing our investigation, and we haven't ruled out criminal charges at this point."
He said it was too early to say what recommendation his department might maketo prosecutors.
The boys and their mother were visiting the 78-year-old neighbor in their apartment complex when the shooting occurred in a bedroom.
The brothers found the semi-automatic pistol somewhere in the living area where it was not in plain sight, the police chief said without elaborating. Neither adult knew the boys had the weapon, Engler said.
The boys were playing when they found the gun, police said. The weapon discharged, and the toddler was shot in the head.