Authorities are urging gun owners to secure their firearms after two southern Missouri boys died in accidental shootings this summer.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 3-year-old Anthony Latorre Jr., of Monett, died on June 26 when he walked out to the garage as his family slept. Police say he then climbed into the family car, pulled a gun out of the center console and shot himself.

Investigators say 5-year-old Timothy Deatherage died less than a week later on July 2 after he and his 7- and 3-year-old siblings were left home alone with two loaded guns out in the open. Timothy's mother and her boyfriend have been charged with a version of child endangerment that carries a possible life sentence.

Monett police chief George Daoud says people shouldn't "underestimate children."

More From AM 1050 KSIS