INDIANAPOLIS — So far this year, at least 13 minors have been shot and killed by guns in Indianapolis including Friday night’s tragedy of a toddler being shot and killed on the near east side.

While it’s still unclear exactly what happened inside the house, police say firearm owners need to practice safety when having a loaded weapon in their homes.

“We don’t want to cast judgment now. We don’t know the facts and circumstances around what occurred, but we can’t stress enough that if you own a firearm, you have the responsibility to make sure that the firearm is secure and that it doesn’t fall into the hands of someone it shouldn’t have,” IMPD Maj. Mike Leepper said.

Tim Tomich, the owner of Tim Shooting Academy in Westfield, says hearing stories like these are tragic, especially ones involving children.

Tomich says if owners followed simple gun handling rules, accidents can be prevented.

“Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot and always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it,” Tomich said.

His best advice to gun owners is to get a gun lock or a safe to keep it secure. He says any time you purchase a firearm it should come with a free lock. 

Tomich says he also offers gun safety classes to families.

David Gay is teaching his teen children how to handle guns.

He says if he’s going to have a firearm in the house, his loved ones also need to know how to use it and how to keep it secure.

“As a gun owner, I think it’s important to be responsible for having one in the home,” Gay said. “I think it’s important for them to feel comfortable, confident and understand how to be safe with having a gun. If they’re around a gun, they’ll know what to do and what not to do.”

If you need a lock, you can go to your local police department.