Police say young Cortney Rogers Junior found the gun, believed to be a 45-caliber revolver, in a bedroom inside the family's apartment in the Washington Park neighborhood.
"The boy found a gun and accidentally shot himself in the head. A very tragic accident and it shows that guns are dangerous and they should not be kept inside the house," said Cmdr. Lillie Crump-Hales, Chicago Police.
The boy was taken to the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital in critical condition.
"The kids are innocent. They only do what they see, so for a little baby to shoot himself in the head, he is seeing this," said Cequena Wilkes, neighbor.
Rodgers also has been charged with violating the state's registration laws for firearms owners, also a misdemeanor.