On July 5 in Cumberland, Indiana, a four-year-old girl died after being accidentally shot by her six-year-old brother.
According to the Cumberland Metropolitan Police Department, they received a 9-1-1 call around 4:39 pm.
When first responders arrived at the scene, screams echoed from the home’s second floor. They discovered young Deor Neita with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Despite their efforts, she could not be saved.
Investigators began questioning witnesses to understand the events leading to this tragic incident. Several children, all under the age of six, were present in the house. With the help of forensic child interviewers, they recounted the moments leading up to the tragedy.
It was revealed that the children found a loaded firearm in an upstairs bedroom. The gun did not have a safety mechanism in place nor a gunlock. While playing with the weapon, the six-year-old boy unintentionally discharged it, resulting in the deadly injury to his sister.
Based on their investigation, authorities believe that the young boy lacked comprehension of the lethal nature of firearms. Cumberland Police Chief Suzanne Woodland expressed her grief, stating, “These are babies still. It’s awful. It’s tragic.” At the time of the incident, the children’s great-grandmother was watching over them while their mother was at work.
Terrelle S. Jackson, 25, was identified as the owner of the firearm. Jackson, who was living in the house at the time, had been legally barred from possessing a gun. His apparent neglect by allegedly leaving a loaded weapon unsecured in a home with young children led to this tragic outcome. He was charged with neglect of a dependent, causing death, a level 1 felony. On August 15, an arrest warrant was issued, and he was apprehended on September 8, being processed into the Marion County Jail.
Police uncovered that Jackson was staying at the residence where he shared a child with Neita’s mother. Police believe the children knew where the firearm was hidden.