Boy, 3, accidentally shoots his father in Mesa: police

Police say a toddler got ahold of a gun and opened fire, shooting his father in Mesa.

"It's not something you hear every day," said a person living in the area where the shooting happened. "You don't hear every day that a 3-year-old having access to a firearm."

According to police, the shooting happened on Sept. 5 near Gilbert Road and University Drive.

"He was standing in the bedroom with his three kids and his girlfriend, and they heard a pop, and he looks back and says 'I've been shot in the back. I've been shot in the back. Call 911,'" said Mesa Police Sergeant Jamey Fox.

Mesa Police officials say while the family was waiting for officers to arrive, the parents managed to take the gun away from the child.

"They looked behind him, and they saw the 3-year-old had a gun in their hand, and so they told the 3-year-old to drop the gun. [They] made the gun safe, then PD arrived on scene."

The father, according to police, said he usually places his gun on a shelf. However, it is still unclear where the gun was when the child picked it up.

"Anytime a 3-year-old gets ahold of a gun, it's shocking, especially gun safety laws. That's a huge topic in the world right now," said Sgt. Fox.

Both neighbors and police say gun safety should be taught at home.

"That's a takeaway here: we need to make sure that people with guns, parents, especially, who have young kids in the house, make sure you lock guns up, and make sure they're safe," said Sgt. Fox. "You don't want anything happening to your kid or anyone else's kids. We want everyone to be safe."

As for the person who was shot, he was reportedly taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is in stable condition.

Area where the shooting happened