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3 children dead, 1 critically wounded in separate weekend gun accidents nationwide

Three children died and one was critically wounded in apparent gun accidents in separate incidents across the country this weekend.  

Police in Houston say a two-year-old fatally shot himself Sunday afternoon after finding an unsecured 9mm semi-automatic pistol in a living room couch. CBS affiliate KHOU identified the boy as Christopher Williams, Jr. 

The parents were home at the time, police said. Investigators believe the pistol belonged to the child's father, Christopher Williams, Sr., the station reports. A distraught Williams Sr. was seen being led out of his home in handcuffs, crying and yelling, "He was my son."

"His dad loved him too no doubt," said the boy's aunt Shamanda Williams told the station. "He loved his child."  

The parents were being questioned and the father has been detained, but neither were in custody, the station reports. Houston police special victims Capt. David Angelo said it's too early to say whether charges will be filed.

Angelo urged parents to secure their firearms.

"This is a tragic, tragic incident where a two-year-old lost his life by what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Angelo said. "Unfortunately it's something that didn't need to happen. Hopefully parents can heed this advice so nothing like this happens again."  

Another two-year-old died Saturday after shooting himself in the head with a pistol, police in Fresno, Calif. say. CBS affiliate KGPE reports two adults were at home with the child at the time of the incident, but neither was a parent. Police are investigating who the gun belongs to and how the child gained access to it. It wasn't yet clear whether anyone would be charged.

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Justin Foss, Sr. WRDW

Authorities in Georgia say a 4-year-old boy shot and killed himself Saturday morning in another apparent accident. Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose Sr. tells news outlets that Justin Foss Jr. was pronounced dead Saturday morning.

The child apparently found the gun in a couch while he was at home, reports CBS affiliate WRDW.

Richmond County Sheriff's Office records show that 27-year-old Justin Foss Sr., the boy's father, was booked Saturday on possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Richmond County investigators are determining whether charges will be filed in the boy's death, the station reports.

It's unclear whether Foss a lawyer.

Another four-year-old who accidentally shot himself in the head is in critical condition after an incident at a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina resort.

According to Capt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach Police, officers were called to Oceans One Resort on Ocean Boulevard South Saturday night. Officers found a child who had been shot in one of the rooms at the resort.

The child was rushed to Grand Strand Hospital. According to detectives, the child was playing in the room unattended when he got ahold of a handgun and accidentally shot himself. The handgun was in the purse of the child's mother.

The shooting has been ruled accidental. Detectives have charged the parents, Heather Odom, 30, and Jeremy Barrett, 34, with unlawful neglect of a child.

Both parents, who are from North Carolina, appeared before a judge Sunday and were charged with unlawful neglect of a child, but were let out of jail on their own recognizance.

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Heather Odom, 30, and Jeremy Barrett, 34, are charged with unlawful neglect of a child after their four-year-old shot and critically wounded himself Saturday at this Myrtle Beach hotel WBTW

According to the Myrtle Beach Police Department, the 4-year-old is in critical condition. He was shot between the eyes in the middle of the head, with an exit wound in the crown/base of his head.

Officers say the parents were in another room of the hotel suite while the child shot himself.

Horry County DSS is involved, and working on a safety plan with the grandparents.

The first court date is scheduled for September 14.

Across the country, about 1,300 children die each year from firearm-related injuries, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Of those, about six percent are unintentional. Unintentional firearm deaths declined from 2002 to 2014, according to the study.

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