A gun being handled by a young mother in a town outside Cleveland accidentally discharged, sending a bullet into her two-year-old daughter’s chest and killing her, police said Saturday.
The mother, who investigators did not identify, owned the weapon legally and had a permit to carry a concealed gun, according to a statement from Wickliffe, Ohio, police.
Police and paramedics were called late Friday to an Econo Lodge in Wickliffe where they tried to resuscitate the little girl. She was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital. Three siblings in the hotel were unhurt.
“The safety was on when I dropped the gun and the bullet shot her,” the mother told a 911 dispatcher, Cleveland’s ABC-5 TV reported. “The gun dropped, I dropped my gun. She’s gone. My baby’s gone. She’s not breathing at all. She’s gone.”
Wickliffe investigators issued a statement extending “condolences to the family of this beautiful little girl ... all indicators are that this is the result of a tragic accident.”
An investigation is continuing. “The matter will be reviewed to determine what, if any, criminal charges should be filed,” said a police statement. “We are not releasing any names at this time as extended family is still being notified. This is truly a tragic situation; please keep this beautiful young child and her family in your thoughts and prayers.”
It was a tragic addition to grim news this week concerning children and guns.
Shazeem Hayes, 19, of South Carolina, was sentenced on Friday to eight years in prison for the death of his girlfriend’s son, 2-year-old Jacarion Gladden, who accidentally shot himself in the chest last year with Hayes’ 9-millimeter pistol
In Indiana, the father of a 3-year-old girl who accidentally shot and injured her pregnant mother faces trial on three felony counts. Menzo Brazier, 21, of Indiana, allegedly left a loaded gun in the car with his girlfriend and two young children when he went inside a store Tuesday.
All told, 1,678 children age 5 and under in America died of gunshot wounds from 1999 to 2016, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.