shooting

Police said a 2-year-old boy fatally shot himself Tuesday inside an apartment at the Caru complex in Roanoke.

A 2-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself Tuesday afternoon in Roanoke, police said.

People in a car flagged down police on Melrose Avenue near Peters Creek Road Northwest about noon, police spokeswoman Caitlyn Cline said. A man and woman in the car told the officer that their son had accidentally shot himself at their residence. The boy was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead at 12:49 p.m., Cline said.

Police investigated the shooting scene at Caru apartments on Bennett Drive Northwest. An assistant commonwealth’s attorney was at the scene.

Police are still working to determine what led up to the shooting.

No charges have been filed.

So far this year, there have been at least 70 cases in which a person age 17 or younger has unintentionally killed or injured themselves or someone else with a gun, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group that compiles such shootings, mostly through news reports.

The last fatal accidental shooting of a child in the Roanoke Valley occurred in May 2016, when 11-year-old Khalil Burt was shot by a 10-year-old relative while the two played with a gun in Khalil’s home.

In December 2017, an 8-year-old girl was injured in an apparent accidental shooting in western Roanoke County. Police said she was shot by an 11-year-old boy.

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Amy Friedenberger is the politics reporter for The Roanoke Times. She's been a reporter here since 2014. Previously, she worked for newspapers in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter at @ajfriedenberger.

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