St. Louis-area police officer's son, 3, dies in shooting

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | 10:22 a.m. CDT; updated 6:04 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MARYLAND HEIGHTS — Authorities said the 3-year-old son of a suburban St. Louis police officer accidentally shot himself in the chest with the law enforcer's personal gun.

Investigators said Daniel Metz died Tuesday at a Bridgeton hospital, shortly after the shooting in a bedroom in the family's Maryland Heights home.

Police Chief Thomas O'Connor said the boy's father is a three-year member of the police department, who patrols the area near where he lives. The father was among the first responders to the scene, where officers tried to revive the boy.

O'Connor called the shooting "a terrible thing," and "a shock."

It's unclear how the boy got the gun.

O'Connor said counseling is being made available to the family and other officers who responded.



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