A young girl shot in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday died at the scene of the incident. Park rangers acknowledged that it was the first shooting death at Yellowstone since 1978.
The toddler’s mother reported the shooting, saying the three-year-old killed herself with a handgun at Grant Village Campground.
The incident happened on Sunday morning and park officials have yet to release her name or her mother’s name. The Huffington Post reports that park spokesman Al Nash explained, “We don’t have all the information, and we haven’t drawn any conclusions.”
He added that he wasn’t sure how many family members were camping with the woman and her child. Part of the campground remained closed off as rangers and special park agents investigated the death.
The Senate passed a bill in 2010 that allowed guns to be carried in national parks and federal wildlife areas, as long as the carrier is following federal, state, and local laws. It is likely officials will look to see if the family may have violated the law at any point.
While guns can be carried, firing them “except in rare circumstances,” and hunting are still banned in Yellowstone, notes The Los Angeles Times.
Should the investigation of the Yellowstone shooting lead to any charges, they will be handled on-site at the park’s federal district court. While local authorities would normally handle the investigation with park rangers, the park’s boundaries predate most of the states its land resides in.
Because of this, special park agents are at the head of the investigation into the toddler’s shooting death. Nash also spoke on Sunday of the few deaths reported at Yellowstone per year. He stated that the majority of them are from heart attacks. In all, more than three million people visit the region per year.
It is unclear how long the investigation into the girl’s shooting at Yellowstone will take.
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