MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A little girl was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after being shot early Friday morning in the 5000 block of Wooddale Avenue in Parkway Village.
The Memphis Fire Department confirmed the two-year-old was shot in the backside and transported to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital around 9 a.m.
Police said the shooting appears to be accidental, and said an adult was holding the weapon when it happened. Friends said it was the child’s mother.
A family member said around 4 p.m. the girl was out of surgery and appeared to be doing well at the hospital.
At least three children, including the victim, were in the house when the shooting happened and the child’s father was there as well.
“We drove up and saw the crime scene tape and police officers and we expected the worst,” said neighbor Kordaro Smith.
He said it’s not common for that large of a crime scene to be on his street, but he was shocked to hear it was because his 2-year-old neighbor had been shot.
“To know a child was hurt, it`s always heartbreaking.”
Linda Sykes said she was out walking with her grandson who`s around the same age as the victim when she saw the commotion.
“I hope the baby comes through this, whatever might happen, and I just hope they solve the situation,” she said.
Being a mother, neighbor Adrienne Smith said this is a reminder you can never be too safe.
“Things happen so fast and you never know when something this severe can happen, so you just have to keep an eye on your kids,” she said.
Police were on scene for more than five hours and say this is a reminder of how important gun safety is.
“I’m always thinking in my mind, ‘How did the situation happen?'” said MPD Colonel Samuel Hines.
Colonel Hines said the majority of accidental shootings are due to people making at least one of these mistakes:
1. Not pointing the gun in a safe direction
2. Having your finger on the trigger
3. Not making sure the gun isn’t loaded
“That weapon is not unloaded or rendered safe until you make it safe,” said Col. Hines.
He said the eight-hour safety course is worth any gun owner’s time.
As for keeping firearms out of the wrong hands, you can buy a lock or box yourself or get one for free from most police stations, community centers and senior centers.
It’s a decision that could save a life.
“There’s no compensation for a life being lost,” said Smith.
MPD said this is an ongoing investigation and no charges have been filed at this point.