Cops: 3-Year-Old Girl Fatally Shot Sister, 4

Houston girls were playing unsupervised, sheriff says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2023 3:28 PM CDT
Sheriff: Houston Girl, 3, Fatally Shot 4-Year-Old Sister
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/aijohn784)

"Our hearts are broken," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said after a 4-year-old girl was fatally shot in a Houston apartment Sunday. The sheriff said that in a "tragic" and "very preventable situation," the girl was apparently shot by her 3-year-old sister while they were playing unsupervised in a bedroom, CNN reports. "It appears to be unintentional," Gonzalez said. He said five adults were present in the apartment, including the sisters' mother and stepfather, and they all thought somebody was watching the children, reports KHOU 11.

Gonzales said the 3-year-old girl found a loaded semiautomatic pistol. He said the family ran into the room when they heard the gunshot and found the 4-year-old girl on the floor. "It just seems like another tragic story of another child gaining access to a firearm and hurting someone else," the sheriff said. He said an investigation is underway and it is "very likely" that somebody could face charges for failing to secure the weapon.

The sheriff said that since many children will be spending a lot more time at home during spring break week, parents should step up efforts to keep guns out of reach. "You've got to make sure you're a responsible gun owner. Secure your weapons in a safe place," he said. "It's got to be more than just to tell the kids not to touch the weapons." The Houston Police Department recently launched a campaign to give free safes to gun owners, the Houston Chronicle reports. (More shooting stories.)

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