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'Too many times': City leaders, neighbors react to another St. Louis child accidentally shot

Police say 1-year-old Khori Patterson accidentally shot himself inside a home on Melvin Avenue. He died at the hospital.

ST. LOUIS — Police said 1-year-old Khori Patterson got a hold of a gun and accidentally shot himself inside the home on Melvin Drive, Wednesday afternoon.

John Lockhart was within earshot when a little boy down the street picked up a gun.

"I was in the house, and my girl woke me up and say 'hey I just heard a shot' and I said 'hey, I'm tired of that'," Lockhart said.

St. Louis police got a call for a shooting at a house on Melvin Avenue just before 1:00 p.m. 

They found 1-year-old Khori Patterson inside, barely conscious or breathing after accidentally shooting himself in the head.

"Shouldn't have had the guns around, because they don't know. Their minds are not shaped to understand what they doing. I don't understand how he shot himself, cause what he know about that," Lockhart said.

From our reports, this makes the 5th child in the city who has been accidentally shot. 

Mayor Tishaura Jones pleads with parents to be more responsible.

"My child picked up a little bit of everything, and so we want to make sure that if by chance they do pick up a weapon that it's already locked and unloaded. We want people to keep the ammunition in a separate place, but also, keep that firearm locked," Jones said.

Free gun locks are offered all over the city. At the police department, fire stations, libraries and the Urban League, where Rashona Johnson and James Clark lead door-to-door efforts to distribute them.

"Too many times it keeps happening and if you see that we have gun locks available just come on up here and get one. It's just that simple," Johnson said.

"In the past two years, we have distributed over 2,500 gun locks, and we have had situations where parents have said that they've come into the room, and they found their child with the gun, but the gun lock was on it, so they work. They save lives," Clark said.

"These tragedies shouldn't keep happening cause we have people that can get access to free gun locks," Johnson said.

Emergency responders took Patterson to the hospital where he died.

Police haven't said whether anyone was inside the house at the time.

They have not named any suspects at this time.

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