CLEVELAND — An investigation is underway after police say a child fired a gun, hitting a 7-year-old girl and sending her to a Cleveland hospital.
Police officials tell 3News that the girl suffered a gunshot wound to the head at 3353 East 128th Street. Medics transported the victim to UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in critical condition.
Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia of the Cleveland Division of Police says the evidence currently points to another child somehow getting access to a gun, pulling the trigger, and shooting the 7-year-old girl in the head.
“Any case of gun violence, of course, is an extreme tragedy,” she said. “But when you get into talking about kids being shot, it’s just absolutely horrific and it shouldn’t happen.”
“It’s just the fact a child was shot. However it happened is wrong,” Mount Pleasant neighbor James Box said.
Box responded to the scene to see what resources he could offer to the family. He’s used to responding to gun violence in the Cleveland area, working as part of a ministry with the goal of curbing that violence. Box said the family was "distraught."
Other children and adults were home at the time, Sgt. Ciaccia said. It’s unclear how they’re related. And she said at this point, she doesn’t know what kind of gun it is, who it belongs to or how it got into the wrong hands.
“There’s no real information as to how the child accessed the weapon,” she said. “Kids should not be able to access weapons.”
Ciaccia urged people with firearms to make sure the weapons are unloaded and stored in a safe place with a gunlock and separate from the ammunition.
“We’re just imploring people to please make sure that if you have firearms in your home…if you’re going to keep any kind of firearm in your home—make sure that you’re storing those weapons correctly.”