JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A five-year-old southern Indiana girl shot in the forehead on Sept. 24 in Jeffersonville remains in the hospital battling her injuries. Three days after the shooting, Clark County officials are looking to see if any charges will be filed in this case.
As of Monday, Azaria Gaubatz is in fair condition at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville. Det. Todd Hollis with Jeffersonville Police says it is a miracle Azaria is alive after she was shot with a. 22 revolver that got the curiosity of a seven-year-old who pulled the trigger.
"The boy may have thought the gun was either a toy or a fake gun," said Hollis.
According to Hollis, the gun was in a shoe box at an apartment at Fulton Terrace off East Court Avenue while three children were inside. Just after 9 p.m., police received a 9-1-1 call that Azaria had been shot in the head after the children found the gun. Police say the adults were outside when they heard the gun went off.
"This gun was right there kept at a low level and loaded," said Hollis. "It's the worst possibility. This is a situation that could have gone bad at anytime. There is five-year-old and six-year-old in that house everyday and that gun is kept in place where they had access to it."
The day after the shooting, we spoke with Azaria's guardian, LaTanya Taylor, who told us the gun belonged to her boyfriend. Hollis said the gun is not registered and the boyfriend admitted he bought it off the street. Over the weekend, Taylor told us that she should have put the gun out of reach of the children.
"I started leaving it around the house. I should have put it up in a safer place," said Taylor. "I'm amazed that she's doing fine. I could be going to a funeral right now or I could have been in jail right now."
The case is being turned over to the Clark County Prosecutor's Office to determine if any charges will be filed against the adults in this case. Meanwhile, Azaria has a long road ahead of her.
"It's a gunshot wound to the head to survive it at is amazing," said Hollis. "If this girl pulls through with minimal long term injury it will be a miracle."
Hollis said Taylor's other children, ages 17 and 6, have been removed from the home and a family friend has temporary custody while the Department of Child Services is investigating.