The tragic accident happened in Los Angeles

A toddler has been accidentally shot dead by her four-year-old cousin in Southern California.

The two-year-old's grandfather has been arrested after it happened at their family home near Los Angeles yesterday.

Investigators say the boy got hold of the gun and fired it, striking the little girl.

The 53-year-old man's being held on suspicion of child endangerment and being a convict in possession of a firearm.

The wounded toddler was taken to hospital but died about an hour later, officials said.

According to several US media reports, the boy allegedly involved in the shooting was visibly distraught as he was taken away from the home.

Cindy Bachman is from the local sheriff's office;

"The details as far as how the four year old obtained the weapon, who owns the weapon, all of those questions cannot be answered at this time."

Several neighbours described the girl's death as "devastating" and urged gun owners to lock up their weapons so children could not get hold of them.