A six-year-old girl, identified as Maliyah Palmer, was accidentally shot dead by her elder brother while their parents were at a Christmas party in Florissant.
The deceased was at home with her 12-year-old brother and 16-year-old sister when the boy discovered a 9mm handgun in a dresser drawer in their parents’ bedroom and accidentally shot his younger sister in the head.
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Police arrived on the scene around 11 p.m., before Maliyah died at the hospital on Friday, Dec
Yahoo reports that an initial statement from the Florissant police department said, “Investigators have determined that this was a tragic accident and no charges will be filed at this time.”
However, Police Chief Timothy Lowery reportedly followed up with a correction, to say that investigators will be giving their findings to prosecutors, who will determine any charges.
“You couldn’t have written a more tragic script, the whole thing is just so tragic and terrible, but we have to put our personal feelings aside and do the law enforcement side of this,” Lowery said.
The chief added that each of the first responders who arrived at the scene were mothers and fathers themselves, adding to the heartbreak of the incident.
“We will have counsellors here for a debriefing, hopefully, this week, to make sure the mental state of our officers is OK,” he said.
Maliyah Palmer is a first-grade student at Green Trails Elementary School.
On Monday, the Florissant police department took to its Facebook page in light of the tragedy to share a reminder that it offers free gun locks at the station as part of Project ChildSafe.
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