Police in Wickliffe, Ohio, said Saturday that it appears as though the mother of the child was handling the gun when she dropped it and it went off, hitting the girl. Police said the girl was struck in the chest and rushed to the hospital where she died.
Wickliffe is a suburb of Cleveland, about 16 miles northeast of downtown.
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Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS reported that the mother admitted to dropping the gun in a 911 call and said the girl was not breathing. She also told operators she thought the safety was off, but then later told authorities the safety was on, WEWS reported.
Police said the gun was legally registered and she owned a concealed carry permit.
Any criminal charges would have to be filed by the prosecutor’s office after an investigation by the Lake County Crime Lab, according to WEWS.