Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10-year old Spokane policeman's daughter shoots herself with father's gun

A 10-year old girl, the daughter of a Spokane, Washington police officer, got hold of her father's unsecured duty weapon, and shot herself in the leg.

From the article:
The 10-year-old daughter of a veteran Spokane police officer was in stable condition after shooting herself in the leg on Easter with her father's duty weapon, authorities said.
Officer Barry O'Connell, an 18-year veteran of the Police Department, has taken time off to care for his daughter. When he returns, he will be assigned to desk duty while an investigation by Spokane County sheriff's detectives is under way, police said.
The girl was at the family home Sunday when she shot herself in the leg, sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said. She was taken to a hospital.
Detectives have not determined how she got the gun or where it was before the shooting, Chamberlin said.
"We are gathering all the facts to make a determination if there was anything criminal," he said.
After the sheriff's investigation is complete, O'Connell will face an internal Police Department investigation into possible policy violations, police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said.
This is the fourth reported child shooting in seven weeks in Washington state and the second involving a law enforcement officer's child.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

UPDATE (5/7/12):  The father will not be charged for allowing the gun to get into his daughter's hands.  From the article:
Barry O'Connell is a veteran Spokane officer. Last month, his 10-year old daughter got a hold of his weapon at their home and shot herself in the leg. She was hospitalized and released a few days later. O'Connell was placed on paid leave by the police department and the Spokane County Sheriff's office was brought in to investigate the case. They handed over their report to prosecutors last week.
Thursday morning, prosecutors announced they will not seek criminal charges against O'Connell and detailed what happened the day of the shooting. It was Easter Sunday and prosecutors say O'Connell cleaned his gun and put it on the dresser near his bedroom window. The family went to church, then came home and had their Easter dinner.
The 10-year old finished dinner early, then went upstairs with her friend. Though her parents' bedroom was off limits, the girls went into the room so they could look out into their backyard to try and see where Easter eggs were hidden. They began to play with the gun on the nearby dresser; the gun went off, hitting O'Connell's daughter in the leg.
According to prosecutors, the O'Connell children had been taught about gun safety and the dangers of guns. That's why prosecutors say, "By all study and legal review, this is an accidental shooting. It may rise to the level of negligence, but does not constitute chargeable criminal conduct under these facts."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment. Your comment will be posted after being approved.