Toddler shoots and kills herself after finding handgun in home
By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email Posted by Charles Gazaway - email
MILLTOWN, IN (WAVE) - Police are calling the death of a 2-year-old southern Indiana girl a tragic accident. Even though her parents in the same room, the girl accidentally shot and killed herself after a handgun was left within the child's reach.
Police are trained to respond to shootings, but that can never prepare them to respond to a house belonging to one of their own.
"Everyone on the department knows Jared and is friends with Jared," said Sheriff Tim Wilkerson of Crawford County. "Jared is a reserve deputy."
Jared Conrad was a deputy on the Crawford County Sheriff's Department for just over a year. Now, Conrad volunteers his time. Monday night, police were called to his home on Speed Road in Milltown, Indiana.
"The mother, the stepfather and child were all in the same room. Just in a split second is my understanding, the gun went off and the child possibly picked it up," said Wilkerson.
The shot killed Alexis Camp, Conrad's stepdaughter. The Crawford County deputy coroner says an autopsy performed confirms the girl died from and accidental gunshot wound to the head.
Indiana State Police are handling the investigation into Alexis' death. They say a semi-automatic handgun was within the child's reach. Wilkerson said the gun could be the one Conrad uses when on duty. Right now, no charges have been filed against Conrad.
"Jared does a good job," said Deputy Debra Young, a fellow Crawford County officer. "He's a good kid. To me he's a kid. He's the age of my kids. He went to school with my kids. I know he's devastated."
The Crawford County prosecutor will review the case once police complete their investigation.
"It's an accident," said Wilkerson. "Again I encourage everyone to come in and get a gun lock. It could be your child that's saved if you do have a gun lock."
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