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ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A 3-year-old boy fatally shot himself Thursday after finding a gun in the Laurel Park apartments north of Jennings, police said.

Police were notified of a shooting at 11:35 a.m. at the apartment complex, in the 9500 block of Jacobi Avenue.

The boy, identified as Rodney March III, was home with his mother and father, police said. Investigators believe Rodney found a gun in a bedroom of his family’s apartment and shot himself.

His mother was rushing Rodney to the hospital, police said, but then saw a St. Louis County police car outside a Family Dollar store in the 9800 block of Halls Ferry Road.

She waved down the police officers, who stopped to help. One of the officers began first aid and moved the boy into a police car. As one officer drove to the hospital with sirens and lights on, the other continued first aid .

Emergency workers planned to fly Rodney to another hospital, but he died before they could.

Police said they are investigating the shooting as an accident.

A few neighbors came out of the apartments to watch police at work on Thursday.

Deangelio Tillman lives in the building next door. His 6-year-old plays with kids who live there. Tillman was home at the time of the shooting but didn’t hear anything. He was not, however, surprised to hear of it. “Well, this is St. Louis,” Tillman said.

This is the second fatal shooting at the Laurel Park apartments this year.

Justin Caffey, 31, and Michael Hudson, 54, fought over a drug deal in April, according to court documents. Caffey then shot Hudson to death.

Coverage of children who died in the St. Louis area in 2019

These are the local incidents of homicide or neglect involving children, based on Post-Dispatch reporting. This list doesn't include children killed in car accidents (unless a criminal charge was filed) or incidents not being investigated by homicide detectives.

Kennedi Powell and her neighborhood friends had just swarmed her father’s car for a piece of pizza Sunday evening when a white car drove past,…

Kristina Curry, 16, was found dead just before 5 a.m. Thursday on a rear parking lot at Roosevelt High School at 3230 Hartford Street, police said. 

Kayden Johnson, 2, and his mother Trina’ty Riley, 18, were found dead with gunshot wounds shortly before midnight in their home in the 5900 bl…

Erin Heffernan is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.