WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The shot that killed a 4-year-old girl Thursday night came from a gun that was unsecured in the home, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Barbera, the father and the girl were the only two in the house.
“It appears to be a tragic accident,” Barbera said.
Barbera confirmed the house was occupied by a husband and wife, the 4-year-old girl and another 8-month-old child.
Barbera said in cases like these there could be charges filed because Florida statute says weapons in homes are required to be secure. Circumstances surrounding the shooting weren’t immediately clear, including how the girl came in contact with the gun.
The girl’s aunt, Mandie Chambers, said she did not want to make any statement at this time.
The girl had been flown to Delray Medical Center in critical condition around 5:30 p.m., shortly after the shooting.
The shooting shook residents near the site of the incident, a neighborhood of small single-family homes in the 1000 block of North O Street, just west of Lake Worth Golf Course and near its intersection with 10th Avenue North.
One neighbor said a young couple moved into the home less than a year ago and that she often saw a man and the girl playing outside.
“I’m devastated. I remember the little girl,” said the neighbor, Carmen Santiago. “She was wearing little princess clothes and I made a comment about how cute she looked.
“I’m so sorry that that happened to that baby.”
Another neighbor, Kelli Miller, said the girl loved to play outdoors, with her mother watching nearby.
Miller described the child as “a real sweet little girl. It’s so sad.”