A teen accidentally shot his 6-year-old sister while he was playing with a handgun he found in the family’s home.
The incident took place in Oakland Park, Florida on Saturday evening. The teen and his younger sister were alone in the home when the shooting took place.
“The siblings had been home alone when the teen found the handgun,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said in a news release.
After the teen shot his 6-year-old sister, the girl was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center and listed in critical but stable condition. Police and hospital officials did not release where the girl was shot.
The girl was identified as 6-year-old Angela Divin, but the name of her 13-year-old brother was not disclosed.
Police said they are treating the shooting as an accident.
Apparently the two were left to their own devices during the day on Saturday, which neighbor Justin Latourrette noticed. He said they were in the driveway alone washing a car.
“I thought it was strange,” said Latourrette. “They didn’t seem to have any supervision.”
Latourrette said next year “a loud boom,” which police later confirmed was the sound of the teen shooting his 6-year-old sister.
The neighbor later saw paramedics carrying the 6-year-old girl from the house.
“Her shirt was bloody, and you could see through a piece of gauze that she had a hole in her chest above the heart,” said Latourrette,. “Her eyes were wide open in a blank stare, like she was in shock. I’ll never forget that look.”
The story of the teen who shoots his 6-year-old sister has reignited a debate over gun control and children with access to guns. The Children’s Defense Fund found that one-third of all households with children younger than 18 have a gun, and more than 40 percent of gun owners with children do not secure their firearms.
The case of the teen who shoots his 6-year-old sister was also preceded by another high-profile shooting. Last week a 5-year-old boy in Kentucky shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a gun specially designed for children.