Police say charges unlikely after 3-year-old boy accidentally shoots himself

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- A gun left out led to yet another child being shot in the Mid-South.

This time the victim is a 3-year-old boy who shot himself at his home in Arrington Estates in West Memphis.

Police told us as of Wednesday, the child is out of surgery but remains in critical condition.

Family member Melvin Kimp said loved ones are devastated.

He first heard what happened when his brother called him Tuesday night.

"He said, 'Look, my stepson got shot.' I'm like, 'What do you mean got shot?'" he said. "They got him out of surgery. It's hard to see a child taped up and wired up. It's hard for somebody to see, you know. I have children."

West Memphis Police said the 3-year-old boy was at home with an 8-year-old child, his mother and stepdad.

Police believe the 3-year-old went into his parent's bedroom, picked up a gun and accidentally shot himself in the head.

"It would not be a hard thing for them to pull the trigger on that style handgun," said West Memphis Police Capt. Joe Baker.

Detectives said once they finish interviewing witnesses, they will hand the case file over to the district attorney, who will ultimately decide if criminal charges will be filed. Police said that seems unlikely.

"Obviously some really, really bad gun safety habits, but nothing that would rise to the level of criminal charges or that much negligence based on some other factors we can't release yet," said Baker.

Family didn't want to release the 3-year-old's name. Instead, they just ask for your prayers.

"They are quite devastated. My brother, he's quite devastated. He's in the house now. He don't really say too much to me. He hasn't been asleep either," said Kimp.

We called DHS to see if they too were investigating, but they told us due to confidentiality, they cannot say whether they have a role in this investigation.