Boy, 4, fatally shoots himself at liquor store

July 22, 2011 2:54:06 PM PDT
Investigators in south suburban Beecher are trying to figure out how a 4-year-old boy got his hands on a loaded gun at a liquor store.

Ash Wimbly, of Cedar Lake, Indiana, was pronounced dead at an area hospital late Thursday afternoon after it appeared he accidentally shot himself in the head at Tubby's Wine and Spirits in Beecher just after 10 o'clock that morning.

Despite Friday's ruling by the Cook County medical examiner that the shooting was an accident, authorities say the circumstances surrounding the incident are still very much under investigation.

A coroner's spokesperson says the cause of death was determined to be an accidental gunshot wound to the face.

Investigators will not confirm how the boy acquired the gun. But according to published reports, the child found the loaded weapon behind a store counter. A pistol was recovered at the scene.

Store workers had no comment about the shooting.

The Beecher Police Department released a statement that reads in part, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and to anyone else who has been affected by this tragic incident."

Detectives conducting the investigation say they are trying to find out who owns the handgun involved in the accident as well as who the child was with at the liquor store at the time of the shooting.

While it is not illegal in Illinois for a child under the age of 21 to be in a liquor store. Indiana law prohibits anyone under that age from entering a liquor store.

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