A 4-year-old girl in Grovetown, Georgia, was critically injured after she accidentally shot herself in the head Monday when her father left a loaded gun on the floor of their home, police said.
The girl’s father, identified as 24-year-old Davion Daniels, put the 9mm Glock on the floor while he went downstairs to take a phone call, Grovetown police said. A short time later, he heard a gunshot and ran upstairs. Several others were at the Sterlington Drive home at the time of the shooting.
Daniels and a family member brought the wounded girl out to their vehicle and started driving to the hospital, police said. On the way, they encountered deputies from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, who then contacted Grovetown police.
Daniels was arrested on a charge of second-degree cruelty to children and possession of a machine gun, police said. He is accused of illegally modifying the Glock to make it fully automatic. The girl was hospitalized in critical condition as of Monday, police said.
“This incident was totally avoidable,” Grovetown Police Chief James Kitchens said in a news release.
Grovetown is located in the Augusta metropolitan area.
Nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety has documented more than 120 unintentional shootings by children so far this year in the U.S., resulting in 53 deaths and 71 injuries as of May 16. At least five of those shootings were in Georgia, with four of the shooters being under the age of 10, according to the group.
The state has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, per the nonprofit, which notes that Georgia does not have a law requiring safe storage of firearms to prevent children from accessing them.
Georgia state Rep. Michelle Au introduced the Pediatric Health Safe Storage Act this year to require firearms be safely stored around minors, but the bill is not moving forward this year, according to local media reports.
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