Boy, 5, shoots 3-year-old girl in apparent accident

(ABC News) -- Authorities in western Minnesota are investigating the apparently accidental shooting of a 3-year-old girl by a 5-year-old boy.

According to Lieutenant Keith Van Dyke of the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department, the boy wounded the girl with a .22-caliber rifle. She is now in stable condition in a Minneapolis hospital but remains in intensive care.

The sheriff’s office received a 911 call about the shooting around 7:30 a.m. Sunday. The caller said that a 5-year-old had shot the girl.

“We believe it was an accident,” Van Dyke told ABC News. “But the investigation of the incident continues alongside the county’s Child Protective Services department.”

Van Dyke added that criminal child endangerment charges are possible if the gun owner “created a dangerous environment by carelessly leaving the firearm in an area accessible to children.”

Authorities said it will be some time before a decision is made about those potential charges.

The investigation has been slowed because family members authorities want to interview have been by the girl’s bedside three hours away.

© 2017 ABC News


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