Child dies after accidental shooting in north St. Louis County neighborhood

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County police say 3-year-old Rodney March III was home with his parents Thursday when he found an unsecured and loaded gun in the bedroom and accidentally shot himself. And despite the best efforts of police, the child didn't make it.

According to Sgt. Benjamin Granda, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, the shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. at the Laurel Apartment complex at Lucas and Hunt and Jacobi.

The child's mother flagged officers down soon after in the 9800 block of Halls Ferry, about a half-mile away. Police started administering first aid at the scene.

There was no time to call for an ambulance, so police rushed the boy to Northeast Hospital.

“One police officer drove to the hospital two officers were in the backseat they were able to provide medical intervention for this child,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.

The child was pronounced dead after arriving at Northeast Hospital.

March was the 21st child killed by gunfire in the St. Louis metro area in 2019.

“It is certainly beyond the pale and heartbreaking when we lose a child anywhere in the communities where we live, so this is heartbreaking," Belmar said "This is heartbreaking for the family, for those involved, and I will tell you that it’s also heartbreaking for the police officers that are involved in this.”

Police across the metro area are reminding gun owners that gun locks are available at many precincts and at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital—free of charge—no questions asked.

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