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Firearm safety is crucial especially if you live in a household with younger children or teenagers. This truth is highlighted in a recent tragedy involving a pregnant mother who was accidentally shot by her 3-year-old child.

Authorities say that the 21-year-old mother was parked in her car with her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. The children’s father was also in the car when they arrived at a Merrillville store. When he left to go inside the store, the father accidentally left his loaded weapon on the center console between the front seats.

The 3-year-old noticed the weapon and grabbed the dangerous gun. She was playing with it when she accidentally discharged it. The bullet went through the back of the driver’s seat and into the pregnant mother’s right chest. It exited through the windshield of the vehicle, but it didn’t hit anyone else.

The mother was rushed to Methodist Hospitals Southlake in Chicago in critical condition. The 21-year-old father was taken into custody by police. Authorities reported that the father had an outstanding warrant in Porter County, and he was also brought in for pending charges from the shooting.

Police will be investigating this accident shooting, and they’ve urged the public to take heed to the real dangerous that loaded weapons present. Police Chief Joseph Petruch from Merrillville explains how this recent accidentally shooting was entirely preventable. These types of shootings wouldn’t happen if gun owners remained hyper-vigilant about where they leave their weapons. The mother is still in critical condition at the hospital.