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Authorities are investigating how a 4-year-old boy managed to climb shelves in a bedroom closet, find a handgun and accidentally shoot himself in the chest Thursday.

VERNAL — Authorities are investigating how a 4-year-old boy managed to climb shelves in a bedroom closet, find a handgun and accidentally shoot himself in the chest Thursday.

The child is expected to recover, the Uintah County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

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Family members were home with the boy at the time, the sheriff's office said.

Crews arrived "within minutes" and took the child, whose name has not been released, to Ashley Regional Medical Center in critical condition. He was then taken by medical helicopter to a Salt Lake hospital.

The boy's condition was stabilized as of late Thursday, deputies reported.

"Our thoughts are with the child and his family as we hope and pray for a full recovery," the sheriff's office said.

No other details about the incident were released.