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Police: 4-year-old boy shoots self after finding a gun at babysitter's house in Crown Point

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Lake County coroner's van stock

A Lake County coroner’s van in this file photo.

CROWN POINT — A 4-year-old boy accidentally shot himself with a gun he found at a babysitter's house Saturday afternoon, authorities said. 

Eric Cole, of Wheatfield, died from a gunshot wound Saturday afternoon in the 7700 block of East 120th Avenue in Crown Point, according to the Lake County Coroner's office. 

Mark Back, with the Lake County Sheriff's Department, said police responded to the home at about 10:50 a.m.

He said the boy found a firearm, which was located in a case under a bed in an upstairs bedroom. 

The boy was able to open the case, grab the firearm and fire a single shot, fatally striking himself, Back said. 

It "appears to be an accident," Back said.

The coroner's release lists his manner of death as pending.

Cole was pronounced dead at 12:06 p.m. at Franciscan Health in Crown Point. 

The Lake County Sheriff's Department and the department's Crime Investigations Unit are investigating. 

Investigators do not expect charges to be filed, Back said. Additional details will be released as they become available, Back said. 


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North Lake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting from UIS. Contact her at or 219-933-3206.

Related to this story

HAMMOND — A Portage man was killed Saturday night in a car wreck on Interstate 80/94, according to the Lake County Coroner's office.

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