NORWALK, Calif. (FOX 11) - Authorities said a child sitting in the backseat of a car Wednesday accidentally shot his mother with a shotgun, critically injuring her as she sat in the driver's seat.
Emergency crews were called around 3:30 p.m. to the 14600 block of Dinard Street in Norwalk regarding a "rescue responding, assault with a deadly weapon, gunshot victim" call.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said an adult female was found suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the torso. She was taken to a local hospital where her condition was upgraded to fair, authorities said.
Responding deputies said the woman was "lucky to be alive."
A preliminary investigation revealed the woman's three children were in the backseat of the car when her 4-year-old son managed to grab an unsecured, loaded shotgun and shot her through the back of the seat.
The three children in the backseat, as well as another adult female and young child sitting in the front passenger seat, were not injured.
Authorities said all four children are currently in the custody of Department of Children and Family Services.
A man was also taken detained at the scene. Law enforcement sources tell FOX 11 he was not in the car at the time, but he is believed to be the owner of the shotugn.
The incident remained under investigation.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reminded gun owners to keep their weapons secure at all times.
"It's not only common sense, but it's the law to have guns secure at all times -- and especially if you are around children," said Lt. Pilar Chavez. "Guns need to be locked up."