Florida 13-Year-Old Finds Family Gun, Shoots 6-Year-Old Sister

News & Politics

A 6-year-old Florida girl is in critical condition after being shot by her 13-year-old brother, Florida officials say. According to the Florida Sun-Sentinal, the teen found the gun when the siblings were home alone. Although the incident is still under investigation, the shooting appears to have been accidental, the Sherriff's office said. The Sentinal also spoke with a neighbor who witnessed paramedics carrying the girl, who is in critical but stable condition, out of the house: 

Latourrette, a heavy equipment operator, said he watched as paramedics carried the girl out of the house.

"Her shirt was bloody, and you could see through a piece of gauze that she had a hole in her chest above the heart," said Latourrette, who has two young daughters. "Her eyes were wide open in a blank stare, like she was in shock. I'll never forget that look."

The shooting comes at the heels of a tragic incident last week when a 5- year-old boy accidentally shot dead his 2-year-old sister in Burkesville, Kentucky. That story garnered outrage around the country when it was revealed that the boy had been playing with a gun called "My First Rifle," a .22-caliber single-shot Crickett rifle gun marketed to kids. 

After the shooting, the company that sells the rifle purged their website of advertising for children's guns, reported the New York Times. But archived images show a "kids corner" section of the site. 

Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, told the Atlantic that childrens' firearms are a promising new market for the gun industry, which may be pursuing a “path trailblazed by a wide range of other industries, particularly the tobacco industry, and focused its efforts on women and children,” Sugarmann said. 

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