Authorities are investigating whether the parents of a 4-year-old boy had a permit for the .22-caliber rifle the child allegedly used to shoot his 6-year-old playmate in the head in New Jersey.
The victim is in critical condition at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, hospital spokesman Rob Cavanaugh said.
The 4-year-old was playing in the side yard of his house with the other boy Monday evening in Toms River, N.J., when the younger child went into his family's home, brought a rifle outside and shot the 6-year-old in the head from about 15 yards away, Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said.
It is unclear whether the boy pulled the trigger or whether the gun accidentally discharged, The Associated Press reported.
No charges have been filed.
The 4-year-old's parents, who were home at the time, called police after the shooting.
The victim was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center, about 25 miles from the 4-year-old's home in Toms River, Mastronardy said.
The 4-year-old is with his parents, Mastronardy said, adding that he didn't know whether the boy knew what had happened.
Mastronardy declined to disclose where the rifle was stored in the house.
No names have been released.