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US boy shot while playing with gun

A three-year-old US boy is in a serious condition after being shot in the mouth - reportedly as he and a four-year-old neighbour were playing with a gun.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in Washington said the 911 call came after the boy's father heard a loud noise from the bedroom of their home in Lake Stevens.

He told authorities he found the door locked, forced it open and discovered the boy with a mouth injury. But he said he initially thought it was caused by the door striking the child.

When the child was examined at Providence Medical Centre, doctors determined it to be a gunshot wound. The boy was flown to Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle.

Detectives say the four-year-old may have accidentally shot the three-year-old, but that remains under investigation. A police spokesman said they do not have any information about the gun or where the children got it.

Authorities say both families are cooperating with investigators.

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