HOUSTON --A 4-year-old boy who was in the hospital after accidentally shooting himself earlier this week has passed away.
Bryson Hernandez's family released a statement Thursday night to pass along the heartbreaking news.
Investigators said the shooting happened on Tuesday. Bryson found his grandfather's gun and started playing with it when the gun accidentally discharged, officials said.
Below is the full statement released by Bryson's family.
"Bryson, our sweet little boy who was loved by everyone he ever met, passed away earlier today and we are utterly heartbroken. Bryson really loved two things in his life: his family - especially his little sisters - and Iron Man. He was very protective of his sisters and always there for them, teaching the right way to cross the street and hugging them when they cried. Iron Man was his favorite superhero. He had the costume, the pillow, everything.
He looked up to Iron Man because he was strong, fearless and he dedicated his life to helping others. Today, through the most horrible of circumstances, Bryson got his wish to become Iron Man himself. He was strong and fearless as he was fighting for his life, and now he will be a hero too: as an organ donor, his life will save the lives of several other children. Soon he will be laid to rest in his Iron Man costume, with his head on his Iron Man pillow, since we know he wouldn't have had it any other way.
"We ask for your continued prayers during this difficult time - for all of us, but especially for his two-year-old sister, who doesn't know life without her big brother Bryson. We ask for privacy, that you respectfully allow our family the space we need to mourn in peace. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing care team at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital - from Life Flight, to the ER, to the OR, to the PICU - the nurses and doctors have truly gone above and beyond for us and we are so grateful.
"And finally, we would like this to serve as a reminder to all families with handguns in the house. Always check to make sure you know where your guns are, and that they are safely out of the reach of children, not loaded and locked away. Take gun safety classes regularly, and constantly remind your kids not to touch guns and that guns are not toys."