NORWALK (CBSLA) – Authorities said a child accidentally shot his mother Wednesday afternoon in Norwalk with a shotgun that had been in the back seat of their vehicle.

The shooting occurred about 3:30 p.m., said deputies with the Norwalk Station.

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Deputies responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call in the 14600 block of Dinard Street.

The gun went off while the mother – an adult Latina and resident of Norwalk – was seated in the driver’s seat, officials said.

She was shot in the mid-torso. The unidentified mother was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Her condition has been upgraded to fair.

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A preliminary investigation says the woman’s three children were seated in the back when one accessed the unsecured gun and it went off.

Another adult female and child in the front seat were not hurt. The three children in the back were also unharmed.

The weapon was recovered.

All four children were placed in protective custody by the Department of Children and Family Services.

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The investigation is ongoing.