Police: Girl, 11 shot, killed by 2-year-old in West Philadelphia


Action News has learned that the bullet was apparently fired by a 2-year-old boy playing with a gun.

Grief and anger spilled onto the 3800 block of Wallace Street in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia as family members learned of the shooting of an 11-year-old girl.

Investigators say a male friend of the victim placed the loaded gun on top of the refrigerator, but at some point it was removed from the kitchen and placed in the master bedroom of the home.

Police say the mother was in the bedroom with the four children but left the room briefly when the children began playing with the gun.

"We know we had 4 children in the house, one being 14, a 7-year-old, a 2-year-old and an 11-year-old who is now dead. There is a gun in the house, someone gets control of that gun, a shot is fired, the 11-year-old is struck," said Lt. John Walker.

Officials say the 2-year-old boy pointed the loaded, cocked gun in the direction of the 11-year-old when it went off, striking her in the arm. The bullet went through her arm and entered her chest.

She was rushed to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where she later died of her injuries.

Police recovered the gun, a 357 Magnum, at the scene.

"They don't know any difference," said James Rouse. "They think it's like television the wild, wild west; they aim, they point, but they don't know the dangers of it."

Family members were brought to police headquarters for questioning.

"Obviously it has been an emotional scene both here and at the hospital, so we have been struggling trying to keep the emotion down and working with the family for this very tragic situation," said Lt. Walker.

West Philadelphia resident James Rouse says tragic doesn't even begin to describe this incident.

"I feel for the family because you have guns in your house and your intention was to protect your home for whatever reason, but your kids get a hold of it, and then something like this happens. How does that parent feel?" said Rouse.

The name of the 11-year-old victim has not been released.

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