Toddler 'Shot Herself' by Accident as Mississippi Dad Charged With Neglect, Police Say

A two-year-old girl is thought to have accidentally shot herself in Mississippi, police say.

Officers responded to a call on Line Street in Senatobia, about 40 miles south of Memphis, at 9 a.m. on Monday, WLBT reports.

The toddler was taken to hospital, where she is in a stable condition, the station said.

Senatobia Assistant Chief of Police Matt Defore said that preliminary evidence suggested the shooting had occurred as a result of "an accidental discharge."

Her father, Mardarikkious Walls, 21, has been charged with one count of contributing to the neglect of a child, ABC24 Memphis reports.

Police have not said how the girl was able to get hold of the gun. The incident remains under investigation.

Newsweek has reached out to the Senatobia Police Department and the Tate County Sheriff's Office for comment.

Last month, a 9-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head after he found a gun in the bedroom of his Chicago home.

Officers scrambled to the child's North Austin home, where they found Ashton Lipscomb lying motionless and bleeding from a head wound.

The boy was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

Three guns were found in a second-floor bedroom, the Chicago Tribune reported.

One of the weapons, a revolver, had a spent shell casing in the cylinder. It is understood the father told police he was collecting his wife from hospital when the shooting occurred.

It is unclear if any adult was watching the children at the time of the shooting.

In September, a toddler accidentally shot his 12-year-old cousin after finding a gun.

The 2-year-old boy, who has not been named, was playing at a house in Alabama, when the incident occurred on September 23.

The little boy is understood to have come across the gun on a bed, picked it up and pulled the trigger.

The 12-year-old's mother told investigators that the gun belonged to her 19-year-old son and her two-year-old nephew had found it on the bed. Police said the shooting was accidental.

Hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else every year, according to campaign group Everytown for Gun Safety. Every year, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, the organisation reports.

There have been at least 236 unintentional shootings by children in 2020, resulting in 102 deaths and 141 injuries, according to the group's #NotAnAccident index, which tracks such shootings. In more than half of those incidents, the shooter was a child aged five or under.

The group says research shows an estimated 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in homes where there is at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked and urge gun owners to take extra precautions when children are in the presence of firearms.

Gun
A Colt Python, a .357 Magnum caliber revolver, set against the background of an American flag. Alfred Gescheidt