BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Authorities say the police chief in Danville, N.H., has been charged with the negligent storage of firearms at his home after a 15-year-old boy fatally shot himself there.

Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams said Chief Wade Parsons allegedly failed to secure his loaded service weapon when leaving his house to conduct errands while knowing that a juvenile was there.

“He put it on top of his safe in his closet, but that’s not good enough, obviously,” Reams told WMUR-TV. He added it should have been put in the safe or a gun lock should have been used.

“They’re free,” Reams said. “Almost every police department hands out gun locks to anybody who wants one.”

Reams said the boy shot himself with the weapon while no one else was home on March 11. He was identified as Jacob Carver, a student at Timberland Regional High School. The teen was the son of Parsons’ girlfriend.

Negligent storage of a firearm is a violation carrying a fine of up to $1,000.

Reams said investigators don’t have an explanation for why Carver shot himself.

“We followed every trail that we could find, and state police did an exhaustive investigation, and we just have no other leads to follow,” he said.