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3-year-old in critical condition after shooting in Illinois

Police said the boy was shot in the head, and circumstances surrounding the shooting are being investigated.

SWANSEA, Ill. — A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital in critical condition after being shot in the head with a gun.

Swansea, Illinois, police posted on Facebook about the incident and said it is believed the child found the gun in an apartment along North 17th Street, but the incident is being investigated.

Police said at 6:35 a.m. they received a 911 call from the boy's mother rushing him to the hospital after the shooting. The police department said the boy was stabilized at a local hospital before being transported to a St. Louis hospital for further treatment.

Investigators believe a 3-year-old boy got a hold of a semi-automatic gun at the home and shot himself in the head. The mother picked up her child and frantically called 911 while she made her way to a local hospital.

About 8 investigators from the Child Death Investigation Taskforce and the Department of Children Family Services are helping with the investigation. The mother is being very compliant with investigators.

Police said the 3-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition.

This is a developing story. It will be updated as information is confirmed. 

This is the latest shooting in the St. Louis area involving a child. 

Over the last two weeks, three children in the City of St. Louis died in shootings. All of them were 14 years old and young. The shootings involved children playing with guns.

In the early morning hours of March 25, 10-year-old Paris Harvey and her 14-year-old cousin Kuaron Harvey were livestreaming on Instagram with a gun when family members said Paris accidentally fatally shot Kuaron.

Sources told 5 On Your Side the video shows Paris jumping back in shock, and picking up the gun out of view of the camera. It fired, fatally striking Paris.

Police have described it as a murder-suicide, but family members say the initial shooting was unintentional.

Then, last Tuesday, a 10-year-old boy found an AR-style shotgun on the bed of a relative’s home in the Walnut Park West neighborhood, picked it up and accidentally fatally shot his 12-year-old brother, LaFrance Johnson.

Related stories:

Resources for crime victims:

If you have been a victim of a crime or know someone who has been, 5 On Your Side has compiled a list of resources.

Better Family Life is a nonprofit community development organization working to “stabilize inner-city neighborhoods.” One aspect of its mission is a gun violence de-escalation program.

To learn more, call 314-381-8200 or visit https://www.betterfamilylife.org/

Life Outside of Violence “helps those harmed by stabbing, gunshot or assault receive the treatment, support and resources they need to find alternatives to end the cycle of violence.”

To learn more, call 314-327-6697 or email: ProjectLOV@WUSTL.edu

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has an anti-crime program called “Safety Net for Youth Initiative,” which is a joint partnership with Saint Louis Public Schools to provide services to at-risk youth.

To learn more, visit https://www.ulstl.com/anti-crime-initiative.html

Cure Violence is an international organization that has recently launched in a handful of St. Louis neighborhoods. Violence interrupters are trained to deescalate violent situations within their own communities. To learn more, visit https://cvg.org/

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