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Toddler Fatally Shoots Grandfather

August 14, 2001

CANTON, Ohio (AP) _ A 2-year-old boy playing with a loaded gun shot and killed his grandfather, authorities said.

The child found a .45-caliber gun that belonged to his grandfather and played with it behind the chair where the man was sitting, Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson said. The bullet went through the chair and struck him in the back.

Thomas Hopps, 55, died at a hospital hours after the shooting Sunday.

The boy’s mother was in the room, but neither she nor Hopps could see the boy behind the chair, Swanson said. The three lived together in Plain Township, a Canton suburb.

``There was a magazine rack beside a chair, or it could have been on a table,″ Swanson said. ``We don’t know how he managed to fire it.″

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