A three-year-old boy has been killed after being accidentally shot in the head by his brother, aged six, according to Chicago police. Eian Santiago was shot in at his family's residence in the northern part of the city, near Chicago O'Hare International Airport, at around 9.05 pm (local time).
The older brother reportedly got a hold of a revolver and shot his brother in the head. Eian was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, but he was pronounced dead. Local media reported that dozens of family members and friends gathered outside Sinai early on Sunday, crying and hugging, as they waited to hear news of the boy's condition.
The boys' father Michael Santiago, 25, has been charged with felony child endangerment in connection with the shooting, according to AP. Police said that he kept the loaded gun on top of a refrigerator. He will appear in court on Sunday.
The news comes after a report in the US claimed that at least one toddler a week inadvertently shoot themselves or other people while playing with guns. There have been at least 209 unintentional shootings involving children aged 17 and younger this year in the US, the Washington Post reported.
In 31 such cases, the child has shot themselves after finding a gun, with 13 fatally wounding themselves. At least 10 more children aged three or younger injured other people, as well as two that shot people dead. The vast majority of toddler shootings this year involved boys.
Gun violence in the US has returned to the headlines after the massacre at Oregon College, which saw 10 people killed including the gunman. US president Obama has urged the Republican controlled congress to pass gun control laws, but without any success.
Many pro-gun control Americans blame the gun lobby group the National Rifle Association for the using its influence to ensure that congress does not implement tighter regulations surrounding gun control, the Washington Post reported.