Spokane officer's daughter shoots self with dad's gunon April 11, 2012 @ 6:08 am (Updated: 7:09 am - 4/11/12 )
The shooting happened at the home of police officer Barry O'Connell. His 10-year-old daughter shot herself in the leg with her father's duty weapon. Police Chief Scott Stephens tells Spokane's KREM TV station that the girl is in stable condition.
"It's a tragic situation and thankfully, the young child's injuries are not as severe as they could have been," said Stephens.
We don't know where the police officer was at the time of the shooting and we're also not told how the girl got the gun.
An internal investigation is underway and the Spokane County Sheriff's office is doing a separate investigation.
"They're looking at the criminal side of it to see if there were any elements that would make criminal culpability on the part of our officer," explained Stephens.
The shooting happened on Easter Sunday but it was not revealed to news reporters until Tuesday.
"We wanted to make sure that we gave the sheriff's office time to truly investigate this and the other was we had an individual that was trying to provide care for his 10-year-old daughter that had been wounded," said Stephens.
This is the fourth shooting of a child in Washington in the last seven weeks. Two have died. Two of those shootings have involved the children of police officers.
Last month, a boy shot and killed his 7-year-old sister with a gun left in the family car. The girl was the daughter of a Marysville police officer. The sheriff in Snohomish County says an investigation continues and that the case should be forwarded to the county prosecutor's office in a week or two.
A few days after that, on March 14, a 3-year-old boy shot and killed himself while playing with a gun left in a car while a family stopped for gas in Tacoma. The boy's mother and her boyfriend are being prosecuted.
In February, an 8-year-old girl was wounded when a gun went off inside a backpack at an elementary school in Bremerton. That girl just recently left the hospital. Three people were charged in that case, including the girl's classmate who brought the gun to school.
In this latest shooting in Spokane, the police officer will stay home with his daughter for awhile and then go on desk duty while criminal and internal investigations are underway.
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