Grandfather arrested after two-year-old accidentally shot and killed by her four-year-old cousin

Shehab Khan

A two-year-old girl was shot and killed by her four-year-old cousin, police said, after they arrested their grandfather.

Cesar Lopez, 53, from California, was held on suspicion of child endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The boy is thought to have found the weapon and opened fire on the toddler, although there is no suggestion that it was anything other than an accident.

The wounded two-year-old was taken to hospital but died of her injuries an hour later, police said. Adults were present in the property at the time of the incident and the mother of the toddler was crying as emergency services tried to save her.

The four-year-old was apparently visibly distraught after the shooting.

“When they brought her out, she had a little patch right here over her chest. It didn’t look like a big hole. They were pumping it as they put her in the ambulance,” witness Bubba McBath told ABC News.

After several interviews, investigators said they believed that Mr Lopez, the victim’s grandfather, had left the gun in a place that was accessible to children.

Several neighbours described the death has devastating and urged gun owners in the area to lock up their weapons so children did not have access to them.