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4-year-old son of Michigan sheriff's deputy accidentally shoots and kills himself

The 4-year-old son of a Michigan sheriff's deputy accidentally shot and killed himself at the family's home. The deputy had just left for work when it happened. WILX's Anthony Sabella reports.

The four-year-old boy of a sheriff’s deputy in northern Michigan accidentally shot and killed himself with a handgun at the family’s home over the weekend, state police said Monday.

Authorities believe Michael Easter was playing with the firearm when he shot himself one time on Saturday in Liberty Township, said First Lt. Michael Krumm of the state police. Police have sent evidence to a forensic lab for analysis but don’t think there was any criminal intent at play.

“At this point there is nothing that’s leading us to believe that this is anything more than a tragic accident,” Krumm said.

The handgun was believed to be registered to the boy’s father, Mark Easter, Krumm said, adding that he had yet to receive confirmation. But it was not Easter’s service weapon, he said.

Easter was on his way to work when his wife called and told him what happened, Jackson County Sheriff Steve Rand told mlive.com. The boy was pronounced dead at a local medical center.

“This just serves as a reminder that we need to be vigilant when it comes to keeping our children safe,” Rand said.

Cammy Rose, the cousin of Easter’s wife, told NBC affiliate wilx.com: “Mark's a good guy. I know this wasn't intentional."

"My heart is broken for my cousin," she said. "He was definitely taken from this world too early."

A week ago, a 4-year-old Houston boy fatally shot himself with his father's stolen handgun while his dad slept.