Teen Shoots 6-Year-Old Sister While Playing With Gun at Home

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 12:35 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A teen accidentally shot his 6-year-old sister over the weekend as the two played unsupervised with a handgun they found in their Florida home.

Angela Divin, 6, of Oakland Park, Fla., remains hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday after sustaining a gunshot wound to the chest Saturday evening when her 13-year-old brother shot her. The name of the older sibling was not released.

"The siblings had been home alone when the teen found the handgun," sheriff’s office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said in a news release.

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Police said they are treating the shooting as an accident, and it's not yet clear whether the parents will face charges.

Neighbor Justin Latourrette, 29, told the Sun Sentinel he saw the two children washing a car in their driveway earlier that day, which he thought was odd.

"I thought it was strange," he said. "They didn't seem to have any supervision."

An hour later Latourrette said he heard "a loud boom."

"Her shirt was bloody, and you could see through a piece of gauze that she had a hole in her chest above the heart," Latourrette, who watched as paramedics carried the child to an ambulance, told the Sun Sentinel. "Her eyes were wide open in a blank stare, like she was in shock. I'll never forget that look."

According to the Children's Defense Fund, one-third of all households with children younger than 18 have a gun, and more than 40 percent of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked.

The fund also reported that 22 percent of children with gun-owning parents handled guns in their homes without their parents' knowledge.

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Last month, a New Jersey toddler shot and killed his 6-year-old friend as the boys played outside.

Neighbors said the victim, Brandon Holt, and his 4-year-old friend were playing "pretend shooting" in the friend's yard. At one point, the 4-year-old ran inside his house and came out with a .22 caliber rifle. The gun went off — it's unclear whether the child pulled the trigger or the weapon discharged on its own — and Holt was hit in the head.

Related stories:

Mother Shot Holding Baby: Alabama Mom Dies, Newborn Survives

6-Month-Old Shot, Dies, in Chicago. Father in Serious Condition

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