Josiah Tate, a two-year-old boy from Anderson, South Carolina, shot himself in the head with the service weapon of his mother’s deputy boyfriend on Tuesday, WMFB News reports.
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The deputy left the gun in the home he shares with Tate’s mother while she and the boy were gone, but the pair returned before he did. That is when the boy found the gun. By the time the mother realized that her son was handling the loaded weapon, he pulled the trigger.
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“I thought it was a lie,” said Tiffany Harris, Josiah’s cousin. “I thought he got shot with something, maybe a cap gun or something, not a real gun.”
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The shooting has been ruled an accident. The State Law Enforcement Division was called in to take over the investigation because a deputy was involved in the incident.