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ST. LOUIS – A 1-year-old boy died in St. Louis after accidentally shooting himself in the head on Wednesday, authorities said.,

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Officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said that Khori Patterson shot himself at about 1 p.m. CDT in the Baden neighborhood of the city, KMOV-TV reported.

The boy was barely conscious and breathing when paramedics rushed him to an area hospital, where he later died, KSDK-TV reported.

“This is just a terrible tragedy that should have never happened. Guns are inherently dangerous,” St. Louis interim police Chief Lt. Col. Michael Sack told reporters. “There are a number of them in our community. All of us who own firearms or who have firearms must be responsible with their care and their use.”

Sack said it was unclear how the child got the gun in his possession, adding that the shooting is “a terrible tragedy that this family is going to be going through for quite some time.” Sack added that it was unclear who was in the house when the boy fired the weapon.

According to KSDK, five children have been accidentally shot this year in St. Louis.

“It’s just awful to hear that,” a neighbor, Elfirmna Furlow, told the television station. “I also agree if people are going to have guns, they need to lock up their guns.”

In a statement, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said that “losing a child is the biggest fear of any parent, and we must do everything we can to protect our babies.”