The father of a 4-year-old girl reportedly killed a man, who was seen allegedly molesting the child in Lavaca County, Texas on Saturday, said Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.
Harmon told the Associated Press that the accused molester, a 47-year-old man, died at the scene, but his name has not been released because his next of kin has not yet been notified.
So far, the father, whose name has not been released, has not been charged with any crime. The case will be presented to a grand jury to determine if any charges will be filed.
However, authorities say the man has expressed regret for the killing and said it was an accident. Thus far, there's no evidence to cause officials to doubt his story. The girl's grandfather says he believes the death was an accident as well.
Sheriff Harmon said the father and daughter were at their barn with several other people to groom and care for horses. The 47-year-old man came with some of the other people, but was not known to the father and child.
The 47-year-old man reportedly took the girl into some pasture behind the barn. Another child saw the sexual assault happening and ran to tell the girl’s father.
Sheriff Harmon said as the girl’s father was pulling the 47-year-old man away from the child, when he hit the man several times in the head and killed him.
The girl was taken to DeTar hospital in Victoria, Texas where she was examined, but was released.
The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy on the 47-year-old man.
The girl's grandfather said the alleged molester's death was an accident: "My son. Sorry. It was an accident."