Girl, 12, dies after accidental shooting

June 22, 2009 8:32:13 AM PDT
A 12-year-old Galveston girl is dead and investigators say she was shot by her own sister.Investigators say the children were handling a gun at a home off Avenue N 1/2 in Galveston while their mother wasn't there.

The Galveston police deparment says the 16-year-old has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Charges of making firearm accessible to a juvenile are pending against the mother.

Early Sunday morning in the small frame house where the mother and her four children lived, there was a gunshot and that 12-year-old girl was struck in the chest. Police say her 16-year-old sister had been playing with a gun when it discharged.

People in the neighborhood are now trying to make sense of the death.

"(I) just hugged the momma yesterday in the store," said a family friend with whom we spoke. "She used to call me grandma and I'm looking at this and the ambulance coming around the corner. My dear Jesus, bless their little hearts."

An ambulance was called and the victim was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she died. Galveston police are calling it an accidental shooting, but that doesn't take away from the terrible result.

"To lose a child or a sibling, that has to be real hard," said neighbor Barbara Mason. "They're sisters. They love each other. You could tell they really, really love each other because they're together every day, every day."

On Sunday, neighbors left flowers and stuffed animals on the porch where the family is missing a life that can never be restored. And in that ,those who know the family says there's a lesson for everyone.

"Life is here today and gone tomorrow for adults, kids, old people, it don't even matter," said neighbor Andrea Parson. "So Father's Day too, ya'll take your kids and hug them and ya'll be blessed that they're here."

The victim's name hasn't been released.

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