OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 6:25 PM – Monday, March 13, 2023
A 3-year-old girl in Texas accidently shot and killed her 4-year-old sister, said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
The sheriff said that the incident appeared to be an unintentional and unfortunate occurrence, but one that could’ve been easily prevented with the right education and parental guidance.
Gonzales said that a group of family members and their friends, five adults and two children, were socializing inside of an apartment in Houston, Texas, on Sunday night.
The 3-year-old somehow got a hold of a loaded semiautomatic pistol, unbeknownst to the other family members who were in a different room.
Both parents of the girls claimed that they similarly assumed that the other parent was the one watching over them.
The family then says that they heard a loud gunshot, where they eventually came to find their 4-year-old daughter unresponsive and lying on the floor.
At around 7:30 p.m., Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputies received the tragic call about the injured juvenile.
When they arrived, the child was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
“It just seems like another tragic story of another child gaining access to a firearm and hurting someone else,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said that the investigation is ongoing and highlighted that situations like this are usually very likely to result in someone facing charges for failing to secure their weapon responsibly.
This shooting is one of the latest occurrences of a child using an unsecured firearm and purposely or accidently taking someone else’s life.
The most notable recent shooting recently involved a 6-year-old boy in Virginia who decided to bring a gun to his elementary school and shoot his teacher. The injured teacher is still recovering.
There were also at least 2,070 unintentional shootings by kids under the age of 18 years old between 2015 and 2020, according to Everytown Research & Policy who compiled the data. This group is known to support education on the importance of gun control and they also work strongly against gun violence.
“In no other similarly large or wealthy country are firearms deaths in the top four causes of mortality let alone the number one cause of death among children,” a Kaiser Family Foundation representative posted last year.
It is highly recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics that gun owners keep their firearms fully locked and unloaded, with ammunition safely locked in a separate safe.