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Police identify 2-year-old boy who died after shooting self in head, say mother was in car with him

The boy's father was taken into custody.

ST. LOUIS — A 2-year-old boy died Monday after police said he shot himself in the head in the parking lot of a store. The boy's father was later taken into custody.

The boy, who police identified as Isreal Whirley, shot himself just before noon in the parking lot of the AutoZone located at 3619 South Kingshighway Boulevard, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

The AutoZone was still open as of 1 p.m. Monday. Many people continued to walk in and out of the shop while police were investigating the scene. The crime scene tape was cleared around 1:30 p.m.

According to investigators, the boy was inside a car with his mother when he shot himself. The gun was located between the driver’s seat and the center console.

The boy’s parents took him to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Police said the boy’s father, a 23-year-old man, was taken into custody after he told officers the gun was his.

St. Louis police’s child abuse unit is investigating the incident.

Ali Khudier lives nearby and was at the AutoZone after the shooting happened. 

He told 5 On Your Side it is heartbreaking this keeps happening to kids and it could be prevented.

"Everyone has guns now in Missouri because of the law, but this is a big mistake. When the family, the father or the mom, they put the gun around the kids. This is what creates the problem. They should hide it somewhere or put it in a safe box or somewhere to not let the kids around it. That's what makes such a big problem around our city," he said.

The toddler is the 103rd child under the age of 17 to be a victim of gun violence this year. According to 5 On Your Side data, 13 children have died.

No additional information about the shooting was released.

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