A 12-year-old girl who suffered a gunshot wound to the head early Sunday during a sleepover at a home in Jacksonville, Florida, is expected to survive, the local Sheriff’s Office said.
She was injured shortly before 2 a.m. when another child in the house fired a bullet, which went through the couch and living room wall, and grazed the girl’s head.
An 11-year-old boy who suffers from a mental illness, the nephew of the homeowner, allegedly shot the firearm. Reports say the boy was sent for a 72-hr mental evaluation.
Investigators say that the homeowner’s 11-year-old nephew, who suffers from a mental illness, shot the gun. He is under a 72-hour mental evaluation.
The girl’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives are investigating the circumstances of the shooting.
The victim does not live at the home where the shooting occurred, so her mother was notified.
The homeowner claimed the shooting was an accident that occurred when the 12-year-old girl was among eight children who were attending a birthday sleepover at the Jacksonville home at the time.
“This is a young man who got a lot going on with his life, and it just takes small things to make him feel bad about himself,” a family member said.
A mother who didn’t want to be identified was in the home when the 12-year-old was shot. She says she was asleep but woke up to a loud noise.
“I was asleep. It happened at like 2:30 in the morning,” she said. “I just woke up to a loud boom and ran straight out[side]. Then I went back in the house and I saw the young lady.”
She says she feels awful and is praying for the little girl’s quick recovery.
“I’m sorry, and I just hope the little girl, you know, forgives me for letting it happen, however it went on in the household,” she said.
Family say the boy found the loaded gun in an abandoned house a few feet away from the property.
“If you walk over there, you can see it’s wide open. If you look in our backyard, there is no gate to stop the kids from going over there,” a family member said.
Officers say the 12-year-old was taken to the hospital for treatment. Her injuries were not life-threatening, police say. Family and friends are expecting her to make a full recovery.
Personnel with the Florida Department of Children and Families visited the home Sunday afternoon.
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