4-Year-Old Girl Shot Accidentally, Killed by Another Child in Chicago

A 4-year-old girl from Chicago was shot and killed after a gun obtained by another young child accidentally fired last week.

A family member who was visiting allegedly kept the gun inside a bag in the home, which is in the city's Englewood neighborhood, WLS-TV, a Chicago-based television news station, reported. At about 6 p.m., a child found the gun and accidentally fired it. The bullet hit Makalah McKay in the chest.

McKay was taken to Comer's Children's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, WLS-TV reported.

"In this situation, time basically stops," Pastor Donovan Price, who was helping console her mother, told the news station.

Police told WLS an adult was taken in for questioning in connection to the accidental shooting.

Crisis Responder Andrew Holmes told WLS police needed three things from inside the home. "Find out where that weapon came from, who that weapon belongs to, and why this weapon wasn't secured," he said.

"That baby should be still here," he said. "Four years old."

Mariah Roberts, Makalah's aunt, told The Chicago Sun Times that losing her niece "hurts."

"My sister called me screaming, and I knew it was something when she called me crying," Roberts told the newspaper. "And what came out her mouth was, 'Makalah got shot.'"

She told the newspaper there needs to be justice for her niece.

"People need to be locked up," she said. "Something needs to happen."

When reached by Newsweek, the Chicago Police Department said any updates would be posted online.

Chicago Police
A 4-year-old girl was accidentally fatally shot Thursday after another child gained access to a gun. A Chicago Police car sits along Michigan Avenue on June 18. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Every year, nearly 1,300 children die from being shot, according to Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The hospital recommends that if a gun is in a home with children, it should always be kept unloaded, locked, as well as "out of reach and sight" of children. It also recommends that safety devices should be used.

CBS News reported in 2020 that unintentional shooting deaths increased 43 percent in the months at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several other children have been accidentally shot and killed in 2021.

On August 1, a 4-year-old boy in Milwaukee gained access to his father's gun and accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old brother. His father, who was allegedly on the phone in another room, has been charged with child neglect resulting in death.

In February, a 2-year-old in Clarksville, Tennessee was fatally shot after another child found an unsecured handgun, which went off. The toddler was hit and died of his injuries.