A 6-year-old girl in Missouri died Friday after police said she was accidentally shot in the head by her 12-year-old brother while their parents were at a Christmas party, reports said.
Fox 2 Now reported that Maliyah Palmer was shot in the head and died at a nearby hospital. The two were reportedly being watched by a 16-year-old brother. Florissant police responded to the shooting at 11 p.m.
The 12-year-old reportedly found the 9mm pistol inside a dresser in his parents’ bedroom and fired the gun. His sister was near him.
“All of the officers who responded to the scene are mothers and fathers, so you can only imagine how personal it is to see a child shot in the back of the head. We will have counselors here for a debriefing hopefully this week to make sure the mental state of our officers is OK,” said Police Chief Timothy Lowery, according to the paper.
Authorities called the shooting a tragic accident and, according to the Post-Dispatch, will investigate and turn over evidence to prosecutors. Authorities said earlier that no charges would be filed. The paper pointed out that parents have been charged in similar cases in the past.
“You couldn’t have written a more tragic script, the whole thing is just so tragic and terrible, but we have to put our personal feelings aside and do the law enforcement side of this,” Lowery said, according to the paper.