Police in Pennsylvania say a 4-year-old girl is dead after her younger brother apparently shot her by accident inside a car parked at at a gas station. Chester Police said a 2-year-old boy was “handling a gun inside of a vehicle” when it discharged.
CBS Philadelphia reports the shooting happened outside of the Eagle Save Mart in Chester on Tuesday. The family lives in the area and frequents the mini mart.
People nearby heard a single gunshot from inside the vehicle, which was parked at a gas pump. The 4-year-old girl was rushed to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.
Police did not identify the girl or boy but NBC News the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the children were siblings.
Loved ones gathered outside of the hospital Tuesday afternoon waiting on an update on the girl’s condition and became emotional after officials confirmed her death, the station reported.
Witnesses say the children’s father was outside of the car when, according to officials, a 2-year-old boy was handling a gun inside of the car and it discharged. The bullet struck the 4-year-old girl who was also sitting inside.
People on the scene immediately rushed her to the hospital, which is just over a half-mile away from the scene.
Witnesses struck by the tragedy say the children were always with their dad.
“It was a morning ritual, I’d see them every morning,” Theodore Thaddeus Crump said. “He was a good dude. He went to work every day. He kept his kids right there beside him. It’s the number one thing that he did, OK. Their dad was a very beautiful man.”
The investigation is ongoing.
Last month, a 3-year-old boyas the family was sitting in their car in a suburban Chicago supermarket parking lot.
According to data analyzed by advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, so far this year there have been at least 51 unintentional shootings by children in the U.S., resulting in 17 deaths and 38 injuries.
Last year, there were at least 379 unintentional shootings by children nationwide, resulting in 154 deaths and 244 injuries, the group said.