10-year-old girl accidentally shoots cousins, aged 7 and 5, with shotgun she found in laundry basket at home
Making a firearm available to a child is a Class C misdemeanor according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, and can be enhanced to Class A if the child uses the gun to cause death or serious injury to themselves or someone else.
A Texas man Jordan Olguin has reported that his 10-year-old daughter accidentally shot her younger cousins with a shotgun they found in a laundry basket in their Fort Worth home. The incident occured while she was trying to wrestle the gun away from them.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the shooting took place in the yard of the house on Thursday and was reported at 10:48am. The children's grandmother took them to Cook Children’s Medical Center soon after.
Police officer Ivan Gomez stated that only one shot was fired, but it hit both children, injuring a seven-year-old boy in the chest and his five-year-old sister in the arm. The young boy underwent two surgeries due to the fear that some pellets may be lodged near his heart and is reportedly in serious condition. His sister was in stable condition on Thursday afternoon.
Olguin said that his daughter did not mean to do to shoot her cousins. "She was just trying to keep it away from them. She’s scared for my nephew,” he said. The father also added that the children were left in the charge of his mother and that not only does the gun not belong to him, but he had no idea that this gun was in the house where five adults and seven children live together.
“Its a very big shock to me,” he said. “We have no idea where [the gun] came from.”
The children were looking for cellphones to play with when they saw the gun, which was buried under a pile of dirty clothes and looked like a toy, claims the grandmother.
Crimes Against Children Unit and Child Protective Services detectives are investigating the incident, and while no arrests have been made yet owing to the fact that preliminary investigation shows that the shooting was accidental, the police may still file criminal charges. The charges are dependant on whether they find that a crime was committed or not.
As NBCDFW points out, making a firearm available to a child is a Class C misdemeanor according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, and can be enhanced to Class A if the child uses the gun to cause death or serious injury to themselves or someone else.