A toddler from Texas found a loaded firearm in her parent’s apartment and fatally shot her 4-year-old sister after accidentally pulling the trigger.
According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the 3-year-old gained access to the firearm while left unsupervised with her sister in one of the bedrooms. Five adults were in another room of the apartment. The Sheriff referred to the tragic incident as “very preventable.”
“The 3-year-old gained access to a loaded, semi-automatic pistol. Family members heard a single gunshot. They ran into the room and found the small toddler, four years old, unresponsive,” Gonzalez said in a press conference.
The 4-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene when police arrived.
“It just seems like another tragic story of, again, a child gaining access to a firearm and hurting someone else, and this time there was a fatal shot,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said that the horrific incident deeply shook the responding officers. He added that support teams would be dispatched to the crime scene to assist investigators and help console the family of the children.
“Our hearts are broken. Everyone’s impacted. The community is impacted when a child loses their life in this way,” he told reporters.
In the press conference, Gonzalez sent a stern message, emphasizing that the tragedy was preventable.
“You’ve got to be sure you’re being a responsible gun owner, securing your weapons in a safe place. It’s got to be more than just telling young kids not to touch the weapons. You know, we’ve got to do a little more. We see far too many tragic situations like this unfold,” he declared.
Despite appearing to be an accidental shooting, Gonzalez explained that after all relevant information and facts about the case have been confirmed, they will be passed to the district attorney’s office. It will then be determined whether any adults were at fault and whether subsequent charges will be brought against them.
In March 2022, a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old in St. Louis suffered the same fate while attending a family party. Both youngsters were fatally wounded during a live stream on social media after being accidentally shot, as reported by the Daily Caller.
Another incident occurred the month before, in February of 2022 in Milwaukee, when A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself after finding an unattended firearm, the Milwaukee Journal reported.