Police: 3-year-old fatally shot himself while playing with gun

SHARE Police: 3-year-old fatally shot himself while playing with gun

Jeremiah Lovelle Banks | Facebook photo

A 3-year-old boy fatally shot himself in the head while playing with his father’s gun early Thursday in north suburban Waukegan, police said.

Officers responded about 3 a.m. to a 911 call from the mother of a child who was shot in his home in the 1100 block of Greenfield Avenue, according to Waukegan Police.

When officers arrived, they found Jeremiah Lovelle Banks with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

RELATED: Most accidental shootings of Illinois children are in Chicago

Detectives believe Jeremiah went into his parents’ bedroom just before 3 a.m. and took his father’s 9 mm semi-automatic Diamondback handgun, which was on the dresser. He then went into the living room, where the gun discharged and a bullet struck him in the head, a statement from police said.

The gunshot wound is believed to be self-inflicted, according to Criminal Investigation Division detectives. An autopsy found the child died from the single shot, according to the Lake County coroner’s office.

A rifle was also found in the home and was taken into police custody. The father has a valid FOID card, police said.

No charges had been filed as of late Thursday afternoon, but the Lake County state’s attorney’s office will meet with detectives to review the case for possible charges, police said.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the boy’s mother and father for allegations of neglect, a department spokeswoman said. That investigation is pending.

Jeremiah lived in the home with his mother and father. A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family with funeral expenses.

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