A fallen traffic light still flickers (R), as a New Orleans Police Department car patrols down Canal Street at the intersection with LaSalle St. in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 1, 2008 as rains continues from the remnants of Hurricane Gustav. US officials were keeping a close eye Tuesday on two tropical storms already posing a potential threat after deadly Hurricane Gustav battered the US Gulf Coast. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Monday preparations were already under way as Hanna hit the Turks and Caicos Islands, with a forecast that it would head toward the southeastern US coast. AFP MATTHEW HINTON / AFP PHOTO / Matthew HINTON

An eight-year-old boy shot dead a one-year-old girl and injured another toddler with his father’s gun in Florida. The father had left his gun in a hotel room where the boy found it, played with it and then accidentally fired a shot, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said on Monday (local time).

The shot first hit the one-year-old girl, then the bullet injured another two-year-old. The girls’ mother was the gun owner’s girlfriend, a multiple-time felon, Simmons explained at a news conference.

After Sunday’s incident, the 45-year-old father returned to the hotel room in Pensacola and, according to investigators, initially hid the gun and drugs, Simmons said. He will now be charged with possession of weapons as a convicted criminal, obstruction of the investigation, culpable negligence and improper storage of a weapon.

“What we have here is a 14-time felon who has a gun with his girlfriend at a local motel; he leaves the gun, does not secure it properly, allowing his eight-year-old son to pick up the gun and fire; it kills a one-year-old and injures a two-year-old,” Simmons said.