A 5-year-old girl is dead after a child got hold of an unsecured firearm and shot her.
According to KFSN, police responded to a call about a shooting in Merced, California, at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. According to the report, a boy in home who is related to victim found the gun inside the home and shot the girl.
The girl’s father, Rodney Matthews, drove her to the hospital himself, apparently without calling 911, and sped away after leaving her there, leading to a brief police chase that ended when officers apprehended him. The wounded girl, who has not been publicly identified, was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
It is unclear from the report who called to report the sound of gunshots at the home.
Matthews, 44, reportedly told police after they pulled him over that he was rushing to get back to the other children in the home.
He has been arrested on suspicion of child endangerment which resulted in the death of a child, a prohibited person in possession of firearms and ammunition, and felony reckless driving while evading officers.
Multiple reports indicate that police are treating the shooting as accidental.
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