A 3-year-old girl in Texas shot dead her 4-year-old sister with an “unsafe” gun on Sunday, authorities said.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called the incident a “tragic situation” and “highly preventable.”
According to the sheriff, the two toddlers played unsupervised while five adults gathered with family and friends at a Houston apartment.
“At one point, one parent seemed to think the other parent was watching the other kids, even though the two toddlers were basically left unattended in the bedroom,” the sheriff said.
In the bedroom, the children found a loaded semi-automatic pistol.
“Family members heard a single shot. They ran into the room and found the small toddler, four years old, on the floor and didn’t respond,” Sheriff Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said the adults were able to quickly secure the gun and call 911 after the shot was fired, but the injured child was pronounced dead at the scene.
None of the children have yet been identified. No charges have yet been announced against the adults in the home, although Sheriff Gonzalez said charges are “very likely” in this case.
“Our hearts are broken. Our MPs are quite shaken,” Gonzalez said. “The community is affected when a child loses their life in this way.”
Gonzales emphasized that this type of incident is preventable if parents follow proper gun safety practices.
“You need to be confident that you are a responsible gun owner and that you keep your guns in a safe place,” the sheriff said. “It has to be more than just telling young kids not to touch the guns. You know, we still have a little more to do. We experience far too many tragic situations like this.’
Earlier this year, a six-year-old child in Newport News, Virginia, took a legally purchased firearm from her parents and used it shoot his teacher in the classroom.
The child’s parents insisted the gun be confiscated and admitted he suffered from an “acute disability” that usually required extra care at school.
A month later in Pennsylvania, a mother was arrested when her children found an unsecured firearm and brought it in their backpack on the bus to school.
No one was injured in the Norristown, Pennsylvania incident – children on the bus acted as “heroes” and alerted school officials before the gun was fired.
Do you have a story? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com. Or you can submit your videos and pictures here.
For more stories like this, check out our news site.
Follow Metro.co.uk on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news updates. You can now also have Metro.co.uk articles delivered straight to your device. Sign up for our daily push notifications here.
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/13/texas-3-year-old-girl-shoots-and-kills-4-year-old-sister-with-unsecured-gun-18436461/ Texas: 3-year-old girl shoots, kills 4-year-old sister with 'unsafe' gun