A 17-month-old North Carolina girl is expected to recover after being shot by her 3-year-old brother on Thursday morning.
The weapon used was a .9-millimeter handgun, which belongs the children’s father, Justin Carper, who writes a parenting column for the Shelby Star.
Renovations were being made to the family’s home and the gun was sitting on a dresser. The 3-year-old allegedly climbed the dresser to retrieve the gun and shot his sister.
Their mother called 911 around 11:30 a.m., but when first responders arrived they found she had already rushed the child to Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby.
The girl was hit in the arm, and no major bones or organs were injured.
“She’s a tough little girl,” Carper told the Gaston Gazette. “My mind is pretty much blown.”
Carper was not arrested or charged with any crime on Thursday night, WSOC-TV reported.
The incident is still under investigation by the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said they will contact the district attorney.
“We’re compiling the case and will present the case to the D.A. to determine if any charges will be filed for failure to secure a firearm,” said Cleveland County Sheriff’s Capt. Joel Shores.
“Regardless of the outcome, the parents have been punished more than any criminal justice system can do to them by this happening,” Shores added.
Carper says his daughter was already using the injured arm to feed herself in the hospital.
“It went through the top of her shoulder,” he said. “She was feeding herself using that shoulder, using that arm. The bullet went straight through. You wouldn’t even know. Doctor after doctor have told us that there’s nowhere else the bullet could have gone that would have ended up with this story.”
The family expects her to be released from the hospital Friday.