An Arizona father is behind bars after a gun safety lesson with his 6-year-old daughter went terribly wrong.
Eldon Mcinville, 26, was loading his shotgun during a lesson with his daughter when he allegedly fired the weapon unintentionally, the Washington Post reports.
Court documents state that Mcinville then called 911 and told dispatch that “his daughter had been shot in the abdomen and her intestines were visible.”
Glendale police Sgt. John Roth said the 6-year-old was alert when she was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she went into emergency surgery for “life-threatening injuries.”
He told the Associated Press:
“They said she was the bravest, strongest girl they’ve ever seen. She was talking. She wasn’t crying.”
Mcinville later told police that he recently bought the shotgun and had to watch YouTube videos and use Google to learn how to load it properly.
He was cleaning it for the first time shortly before it went off.
A witness in the home told authorities that the 6-year-old was standing about two feet from her father when he handled the weapon and that it fired when he slipped, court documents state.
Police found two additional unsecured weapons in the home, which Mcinville later said were in a room that was “typically locked.”
However, the court documents state that the father sometimes “walks around the house with the weapons.”
On Saturday, the father was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and suspicion of child abuse.
He was ordered not to contact his daughter even if he posted his $50,000 bond. As of Monday, the 6-year-old was listed as being in critical but stable condition.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), you should always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction in case of unintentional firing. Its website states:
Never point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot. This is particularly important when loading or unloading a firearm. In the event of an accidental discharge, no injury can occur as long as the muzzle is pointing in a safe direction.
You should also have extensive knowledge about working a particular gun before you handle it.
The father’s preliminary hearing will take place on May 6.