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Parents arrested after death of 3-year-old from gunshot wound

Denver police said the boy died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 22.

DENVER — Editor's note: For the latest developments in this case click here.

Denver police have arrested two parents in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy from a gunshot wound. 

According to the Denver Police Department (DPD), the boy was taken in a private vehicle to a hospital after sustaining a self-inflicted, accidental gunshot wound on the evening of April 17. He died five days later. 

RELATED: 3-year-old dies after apparently shooting self, police say

DPD said the incident happened in a vehicle in the 1700 block of South Pecos Street. That's near Ruby Hill Park, just south of West Mexico Avenue. 

Police said Friday that arrest warrants were issued for the boy's parents for investigation of child abuse -- negligently causing death. 

Police said the boy's mother, 39-year-old Celina Duran, was arrested Thursday. His father, 34-year-old Manuel Lopez, turned himself into custody on Sunday.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there were at least 369 unintended shootings by children in the United States, in 2020.  

"These are tragic cases. It's a death that could have been easily prevented by using just commonsense care in handling a firearm," said 9NEWS Legal Analyst Scott Robinson. "It's tragic because the parents have lost their child and now are facing the long arm of the judicial system."

As far as charges go, Robinson says there's not much lower the system can go than negligent child abuse. 

"For criminal negligence, it's going beyond the standard of the reasonable person. And I don't think there's much question but that most reasonable people would think you can't have children have access to loaded firearms," he said. "These are difficult cases on both sides. The D.A. is going to be looking at the facts."

But overall, Robinson believes the case may not make it to trial. 

"Statistically speaking, a loaded firearm being used by a child is not a situation where the defense is wanting to go to trial. Typically these cases plea bargain out, but not always. And every case is different," Robinson said.

RELATED: Denver park closed after man was fatally shot trying to break up fight

RELATED: Child among 3 killed in Denver shooting

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