Police: Boy, 4, shot self

YOUNGSTOWN – Although investigators are treating Sunday’s fatal shooting of a 4-year-old on the city’s North Side as a homicide, police said it appears the boy’s death was accidental and that he may have shot himself while playing with a loaded handgun.

Police confirmed Raytwon Briggs died after being shot about 11 p.m. inside an apartment on Fairgreen Avenue.

Youngstown police Chief Rod Foley said on Monday that investigators are “theorizing it was an accidental shooting,” but they weren’t ruling anything out and were still trying to identify the gun owner.

He said the child accessed the loaded guns in the bedroom of a 26-year-old man.

He confirmed that police found three loaded handguns in the room. One of the guns, along with a bullet casing, was retrieved from under a bed.

The boy’s grandmother told police the boy and two other children, ages 1 and 5, were playing with the gun in a bedroom when the gun went off.

Initial reports indicate the boy fatally shot himself through the head.

Police said the boy’s parents were not at the home at the time, but arrived later. They, along with the boy’s grandmother, were questioned by police.

Gunshot residue tests were performed on everyone at the home.

“Right now it appears to be a tragedy, but we still have a lot of questions and a lot we’re trying to sort through.” Foley said. “So we’re working with the theory right now that it was probably accidental but we have got a long way to go yet until we can say that for sure.”

He said it’s likely there will be an autopsy.

Reports indicate no one else was hurt.