Authorities learned that the girl’s father was inside the house cleaning a handgun he thought was unloaded when it discharged. The bullet struck the child in the head, police said.
She was transported by air ambulance to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, about 40 miles away. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, she was pronounced dead, the statement said.
The incident is under investigation, but Indiana State Police detectives said that at this time they don’t think foul play was involved. Authorities did not say if any charges would be filed.
Gun manuals and training protocols remind owners to check to see if a weapon is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction before starting to clean. Yet accidental shootings are a significant cause of death in the U.S.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 489 deaths in 2015 that were the result of accidental shootings. Of those deaths, nearly 50 cases involved victims who were 14 or younger.