An Alabama family has been left grief-stricken after a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 9-year-old sister on Feb. 6.
The victim was identified as Kimberly Reylander, a third-grade student, according to media reports.
The incident occurred at the children’s great grandparents’ home.
“I came in and when I came in the door, my son came out and said she had been shot,” Kimberly’s great grandfather, Joel Watson, told WIAT.
Kimberly was taken to hospital and died later as a result of her injuries.
“Her grandma was laying the towel on her head and laid down there and started praying, she was praying, I was praying, my wife was screaming and praying. Nobody knows how that feel until you experience it,” Watson added.
The police are winding up their investigation and described the shooting as a “tragic accident.” No charges against anyone are expected.
“My understanding is the great grandfather had the pistol laying on the dresser. The uncle and grandmother did not know it was laying there as well,” Irondale Police Chief Ken Atkinson said.
A funeral is set for Feb. 10.
“Making Kimi's arrangements was the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” Rodney Watson, her grandfather, told WBRC.
Kimberly enjoyed making art, and even had one of her pictures published in a calendar produced at her grandfather’s work.
“She was a beautiful child, straight-A student, she loved God, she loved singing at church, she was just a precious angel,” he added.
The school Kimberly attended put up a sign Feb. 8 saying “We love you Kimi,” and Principal Chuck Yeager said grief counselors would be on hand to support students.
Local resident Chrissy Coblentz set up a GoFundMe page to help the family pay for funeral costs. It had exceeded its goal of $5,000 by Feb. 9.