Police believe the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old girl Saturday in Philadelphia occurred as children played with a loaded firearm inside a Mantua neighborhood home.
Investigators said a male friend of the victim’s mother arrived at the home and allegedly stashed a loaded gun on the top of the refrigerator.
At some point, the firearm was moved to the master bedroom, where it was left unsecured, according to authorities.
Police said the girl was in the bedroom with her mother and three other children: a 16-year-old, a 2-year-old and a child younger than 10.
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When the mother left the room to use the bathroom, the children found the gun, according to investigators.
Police said that as the children played with the loaded, cocked firearm, the 2-year-old pointed the weapon at the 11-year-old girl.
The gun discharged shortly before 10 a.m. and the bullet struck her.
She was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but died about a half-hour later.
Police said the Homicide Unit is investigating, and there was no word on whether criminal charges would be filed.
The names of the victim and others involved in the shooting were not released Saturday.