LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A 7-year-old girl is still in the hospital in critical, but stable condition after she was accidentally shot in the head.
In an update Wednesday morning, Shively Police said the girls 11-year-old brother found the handgun and was playing with it when it went off.
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The shooting happened at a home Tuesday afternoon just before 3 p.m. in the 2200 block of Crums Lane, near Butler High School and Shively Park. Shively Police Lt. Col. Josh Myers said the family told him the gun was stored in a secure box and located under a bed.
Myers said on Wednesday that the 7-year-old underwent surgery Tuesday and is now being allowed to rest and heal. Myers said medical personnel are continuing to observe her condition very closely as the next day or so are very crucial.
Police say the children's uncle has guardianship over the kids, and he was outside the home doing some work when the gun went off.
“We’re hoping the little girl pulls through, but it will be some time until we know for sure,” Myers said.
Neighbors who heard the commotion on Tuesday say they were praying for the child to pull through.
“That little girl, she was really nice,” neighbor Mina Hernandez said. “It’s hard to believe.”
"Every time something like this happens we have this conversation," Myers said. "We talk about it. This is one of those tragic things that happens to kids that can be prevented 100% of the time. If the gun is locked away in a place where they can't get it and it's truly secure we aren't having this conversation."
“It’s devastating, I hate that,” neighbor Michael Forte said. “I can still picture her running outside playing.”
Shively Police say these sort of incidents are 100% preventable.
Here are some gun safety tips from nationwidechildrens.org:
- If a gun is in the house, always keep it unloaded and locked. It should be out of reach and sight of children. Keep ammunition and guns locked in separate locations, not together.
- Safety devices, including gun locks, lock boxes and gun safes, should be used for every gun in the house.
- Storage keys and lock combinations should be hidden from children.
- Before visiting friends and relatives, ask if they have guns in their homes. If so, make sure they keep their guns unloaded and locked as well.
- Never leave children unsupervised in a home with a gun.