SANDY, Utah — Police in Sandy, Utah say it’s the worst kind of crime scene.
Inside his Grandparents home, they say Ethan Hearty crawled into the bedroom, found an unsecured 9 millimeter handgun, and accidentally shot himself.
Ethan died at the hospital.
“Any time a child gets injured with a gun that causes concern, but I’m sure this family feels that right now,” said Sgt. Jon Arnold with the Sandy police department.
Ethan’s parents are Matt and Tiffany Hearty who live in Denver.
“I’m very shocked. They are amazing parents,” said their neighbor, Kristi Hanks. She has lived next door to the Hearty’s condo for more than a year. She remembers an energetic young toddler who loved to play in the neighborhood pool.
“I feel horrible. Just the feelings that are going through me right now. I’m about ready to tear up.”
Facebook pictures show a happy family. Ethan had a sister and the parents recently had another baby.
There are also pictures of the parents with guns, though police say it’s too early to tell if anyone is at-fault for Ethan’s death.
Gun experts say a gun lock would have prevented the tragedy and costs as little as $30.