Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the shooting was “very preventable”
A 3-year-old Texas girl picked up a loaded gun inside a Houston home and accidentally shot her 4-year-old sister to death.
The two sisters were playing in a bedroom when the shooting occurred around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
“At some point it appears that one parent thought the other parent was maybe watching the other children when in fact the two toddlers were left basically unsupervised inside the bedroom,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters.
Gonzalez said there were five adults in the home at the time of the incident.
“The 3-year-old gained access to a loaded semi-automatic pistol,” said Gonzalez. “Family members heard a single gunshot and ran into the room and found the small toddler, 4 years old, on the floor, unresponsive.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the girl was shot one time in the face.
“It appears to be unintentional,” Gonzalez said.
The girl died at the scene.
“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.
All the adults in the home were detained, police said. Police said they are investigating if the gun owner had properly stored the weapon or was negligent.
“The community is impacted when a child loses their life in this way,” Gonzalez said. “This is very 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.”