OAKLAND, Maine (AP) — Police say an 8-year-old boy who was handling his father’s 12-gauge shotgun died of a gunshot wound to the head inside a home in Maine.

State Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says first responders found Parker Stevens inside an Oakland home around 6 p.m. Tuesday. McCausland says Stevens was handling his father’s Mossberg shotgun in his parent’s closed when the gun fired.

Stevens was going into fourth grade at the William’s Elementary School in Oakland.

Detectives say the shotgun had eight shotgun shells in the gun’s magazine tube. McCausland said it appears the boy racked one of those shells into the chamber before he fired the gun.

State police are advising parents to keep guns unloaded and out of reach. Most police departments offer free trigger locks.

(Copyright (c) 2024 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox