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9-Year-Old Girl Shot in Hand After Evansville Man Lets Her Handle Rifle

A 9-year-old girl was shot in the hand Friday night in Evansville, Ind., and police have arrested a local man for letting the girl and two other children hold his firearms.

Evansville police said Gilbert Ricketts Jr., 48, told the girl and two other children, ages 10 and 8, to wait for him and watch his dog as he went to a liquor store, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.

Ricketts grabbed firearms from his house and then let the children handle his rifles, according to radio station WJLT. He said he did not know the .22 caliber rifle that harmed the girl still contained a bullet.

Ricketts had blood-alcohol content of 0.053 percent when he was arrested, as determined by a portable breath test.

Police found the girl around 9:30 p.m. Friday with a gunshot wound. She now faces partial amputation of possibly multiple fingers on her left hand, according to ABC News.

The girl was brought to Deaconess Hospital after the gun discharged in her hand, and police charged Ricketts with providing the girl the firearm — a C Felony.

Ricketts told police that the parents of at least one of the children had granted him permission to show his rifles to the 8, 9 and 10 year olds.

Ricketts was detained at the Vanderburgh County Detention Center during the weekend with a bail of $1,500.

Sources: Evansville Courier & Press, ABC News, WJLT


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