Massachusetts Man, 23, Shoots 15-Year-Old Girl While 'Playing' With Gun

A 23-year-old man in Lynn, Massachusetts, was arrested Saturday after he shot a teenage girl while playing with a gun that he didn't realize was loaded, according to police.

Michael Tate faces numerous firearm and assault charges after accidentally shooting a 15-year-old girl while messing around with a gun on Friday evening, Boston 7 News reported. Police responded to the incident around 7:30 p.m. in North Common Terrace, located around 10 miles North of Boston.

The girl, whose name has not been released to the media, sustained life-threatening injuries and was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital after being shot in the torso. On Saturday, Lynn police Lieutenant Michael Kmiec said she is expected to survive the injury.

Tate was taken into custody and scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Lynn District Court on several charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, carrying a firearm without a license, unlawful possession of ammunition and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, the Boston Globe reported. Police said the firearm was recovered by officers at the scene of the crime.

On Saturday, neighbors at the scene of the shooting expressed shock, describing the incident as "crazy and scary."

"My uncle heard a gunshot, but he thought it was fireworks," Victoria Martin, a resident of the neighborhood who was celebrating her daughter's third birthday when the shooting occurred, told the Globe. "And then I heard cops running around looking for people."

Martin said that she then saw police enter a unit of one of the buildings as soon as they arrived and quickly place a man into custody. "I've lived here almost 16 years, and this is the first time I'm experiencing something like this," Martin added.

Another neighbor told the paper that the area is "usually quiet" and full of "a lot of little kids."

Lynn police
A 23-year-old man was arrested in Lynn, Mass., on Saturday after he accidentally shot a teenager in the torso while playing with a gun. Here, vintage police cruisers are seen in Lynn on June 23, 2014. Jessica Rinaldi/Getty Images

Accidental shootings frequently occur in the U.S., and statistics from the crime scene specialists Aftermath have shown that by October 2020 the country had seen 458 deaths in the year from unintentional shootings. The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence states that around 500 people die from accidental shootings across the country every year.

Earlier this month, a 22-year-old man from Woburn, Massachusetts, was arrested and faced similar charges after he unintentionally shot his friend in the neck while showing him his new firearm.

Newsweek contacted the Lynn Police Department for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.