Indiana dad Eric Hummel will tell you that he did not know the 9 mm semi-automatic handgun he pointed at his 9-year-old daughter, Olivia, had any bullets in it. But that will not stop the law from taking its course.
The 33-year-old father of three children, including two sons and a daughter, told the police that he was giving his sons a lesson in gun safety when his daughter entered the room. Assuming that the gun was not loaded, the Indiana dad told officers, he pointed the gun at Olivia, turned to face his sons and allegedly said “see don’t play with guns,” before striking a bullet in her head.
Before he or his sons knew it, the young girl was lying prostrate on the floor. Despite his best attempts to save her by administering CPR, Olivia lost too much blood too quickly.
“This can’t be real,” Hummel told the 911 dispatcher, according to the call recording obtained by Chicago Tribune. “Please don’t go. Oh my God. Please don’t go,” the dad can be heard whispering to his daughter even as he is frantically asking the dispatcher to send responders to his house in Hobart.
When the first responders arrived on the scene, they said they found Hummel kneeling beside his daughter while she lay in a bedroom doorway, with her siblings sitting on the porch. One of the first officers also recalled the Indiana dad tell his wife, Mandy Zormier, to rush to the hospital as their daughter was dead because of his own “stupid” actions.
“I shot her. I’m so sorry,” he told his wife, before confessing that he “was showing the boys the gun and it was stupid, it was so stupid.”
Hummel’s two sons, aged 9 and 10, told officers that their dad had pointed and fired the gun at them a few times when it was not loaded during which it made a “pop” sound. He later loaded the gun, the sons told the police, but forgot that he had done so when Olivia entered the room.
Hummel has since been charged with one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, battery resulting in death to a person less than 14 years, reckless homicide, and, furthermore, two counts of neglect of a dependent, People reports.
According to his prosecutors, he could face up to 40 years in prison. However, his lawyer, Paul Stracci, contends that Eric Hummel should be let go because he already has to bear the guilt of having killed his daughter all his life. He said his client is “absolutely devastated” and that he will plead not guilty to the charges.
“Anyone who knows him knows he loves his kids more than anything in the world and would never do anything to hurt them,” Stracci said.
However, Hobart Police Department Chief Richard W. Zormier disagrees.
“I believe this was a series of heinous and depraved acts committed by the suspect. His actions endangered the lives of all three children and ultimately stole the life of Olivia, an innocent 9-year-old girl. His actions caused the death of Olivia and likely scarred the boys emotionally for life.”
What is your take on the unfortunate incident?
[Featured Image by the Hobart Police Department]