A grandfather in California has been arrested, hours after his two-year-old granddaughter was fatally shot in the chest by her cousin after a gun was left unattended in their home.
The two-year-old child, identified only as Alia, was killed on Friday morning at her home in Muscoy after her four-year-old cousin grabbed a gun he found and accidentally shot her.
Police arrested 53-year-old Cesar Lopez, the grandfather of the victim, on Friday charging him with child endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Authorities said Lopez had left his gun in an area the children had access to. Because he is a convicted felon, Lopez was not even allowed to have a weapon.
Bubba McBath, who lives in the neighborhood, said he saw Alia being taken into an ambulance. Officials pronounced the girl dead at the hospital, less than an hour after she was shot in the chest.
Investigators said the children were cousins and lived in the same house with their mothers.
Video from the scene show the girl's mother being led out of the home by family members.
Neighbors said the little boy was crying as deputies took him away in a sheriff's vehicle.
"That was her only daughter," neighbor Citlaoy Plascencia told NBC Los Angeles. "She was a good mom."
Another neighbor told the San Bernardino Sun that the tragedy could have been avoided.
"This is negligence here," Dantra Lewis said. "I know these people are hurting, but a four-year-old shouldn't know where a gun is kept, let alone have access to it."