A 16-year-old boy is dead after he accidently shot himself while behind the wheel of a sedan in northeast Harris County on Monday night, according to Harris County sheriff’s deputies.

The teen was initially taken to the hospital via Life Flight in “very critical condition,” but in an update just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The shooting happened shortly after 8 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Wallisville Road and the Sam Houston Tollway.

Gonzalez said this is a reminder that it’s incredibly dangerous and reckless to handle a loaded gun inside of a moving vehicle.

The 16-year-old was reportedly holding a pistol while driving a sedan with three teenage passengers — two other 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old.

The gun went off as the sedan slowly rear-ended the car in front of it. Deputies said the driver of the car that was hit is OK, just shaken up.

Gonzalez said it’s possible the driver was playing with the gun when it went off. However, the investigation into exactly what happened is ongoing.

“At this point, we’re trying to conduct the investigation. We still want to confirm some details, make sure that we’re getting the full story,” Gonzalez said. “The initial story is that the driver himself was handling the pistol when it discharged. But again, that could always change. We could get additional information to determine that one of the other occupants could have discharged the weapon.”

Gonzalez said investigators have no reason to believe the shot came from anywhere but inside of the vehicle.

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