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Toddlers injured when search for snacks led to a gun instead

PAGEDALE, MO - Pagedale Police tell Fox 2 they don`t anticipate charges at this point after a 2-year-old boy finds a gun in his Pagedale home then shoots himself and his 7-year-old brother.

The brothers were taken to Children`s Hospital and are expected to pull through.

Pagedale Police call this an accidental shooting that could have turned out far more tragic.

Authorities tell us a 16-year-old boy was watching five of his younger siblings with no adults home around 9 pm on Monday night.

Investigators say a 2-year-old boy found an unsecured nine-millimeter handgun inside of a backpack in his parent`s bedroom.

Police think the boy was actually looking for snacks in his father`s backpack.

Authorities tell us the toddler took the backpack with the gun in it to his bedroom where he started playing with the gun and it went off once.  The bullet hitting both the 2-year-old and his 7-year-old brother.

“The bullet went through, into his elbow, down his arm, out his hand into his brother`s head...fractured his skull,” said Pagedale`s Interim Police Chief Eddie Simmons.

Simmons says the 16-year-old called 911 and authorities responded right away.

Neighbor and family friend Vernell Macon says the other children stayed with her as the investigation unfolded.

Macon says the parents are kind and responsible.

She tells us she was the victim of an accidental shooting years ago and this case upsets her.

“To find out that one of your neighbor kids got accidentally shot, that`s not a good feeling, it`s scary,” explained Macon.

Investigators say the father of five of the six children legally owns the gun.

We`re told there was a trigger guard in the backpack that would have prevented the gun from being fired.

But it was not hooked up.

Police encourage gun owners to get gun locks which can be obtained free from many police departments.

Interim Chief Simmons said this about the children: “They`re not lucky. They were blessed.”

Authorities tell us the 2-year-old is expected to be released from the hospital tonight while the 7-year-old who was hit in the head will likely be kept overnight for observation.