Toddler Finds Loaded Gun, Accidentally Shoots and Kills Her 4-Year-Old Sister, Houston Authorities Say

Harris County Sheriff's Office
The Harris County Sheriff's Office in Texas is investigating the shooting.Getty

A 3-year-old girl in Houston found a loaded gun and accidentally shot and killed her 4-year-old sister while adults were in another part of the home, authorities said.

Two young Texas sisters left alone in an apartment bedroom ended in tragedy when the 3-year-old found an unsecured loaded handgun and pulled the trigger, hitting and killing her 4-year-old sister, authorities said.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the Sunday night shooting was “very preventable," calling it "another tragic story of a child getting access to a firearm and hurting someone else."

The children were unsupervised in their Houston home while five adults, including their parents, were in a different part of the apartment, Gonzalez said.

“It appears that one parent thought the other parent was maybe watching the other children, when in fact, the two toddlers were left basically unsupervised inside the bedroom,” he said.

The adults heard a gunshot and came running, Gonzalez said. They discovered the 4-year-old unresponsive, and she died in the bedroom.

"Our hearts are broken. Our deputies are pretty shaken up," Gonzalez said, adding support personnel were available to help officers and family members.

"The community is impacted when a child loses their life in this way," the sheriff said. 

"You've got to be sure you're being a responsible gun owner, securing your weapons in a safe place. It's got to be more than just telling young kids not to touch the weapons," Gonzalez said.

"We see far too many tragic situations like this unfold."

The Harris County District Attorney's Office will decide whether any of the adults should face charges after sheriff's deputies conclude their investigation, which is ongoing, Gonzalez said.

According to the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been at least 58 accidental shootings by children this year, causing 22 deaths and 37 injuries.

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