A toddler accidentally shot inside a home Thursday afternoon is in serious but stable condition at a St. Paul hospital, police said.
The 2-year-old, identified by relatives as Jacob Xiong, was struck by a bullet, possibly in the head, after a gun discharged inside the home on the 1300 block of Beech Avenue in St. Paul.
"He's a trouper," said Police Sgt. Paul Paulos when asked about the boy's condition. "They do think he's going to make it."
Police are calling the shooting accidental.
Authorities said three boys ages 10, 9 and 7 had found a 9-millimeter gun somewhere inside the home. It's not clear if they were playing with the gun when it went off, Paulos said.
"It's tragic. It's sad," he said. "Children will be snoops. They like to explore. They like to discover."
Paramedics responded to a call about an injured child around 12:30 p.m. They found the boy and took him to Regions Hospital.
Police arrived at the home about 1 p.m. after learning that the injury resulted from a gunshot, Paulos said.
Investigators were trying to piece together what happened. They spoke to a 16-year-old girl who was babysitting the three other boys, all believed to be siblings. Police took the gun as evidence.
The toddler's parents were at work when the incident happened. A relative was called to the home by a family member.
"I'm shocked," the toddler's uncle, Yang Her, said. "I'm just hoping for the best."
The parents are cooperating with the investigation, police said in a written statement.
"This is not random and no arrests have been made at this time. No suspects are being sought," the statement said.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482 Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036