Police believe the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old girl Saturday morning occurred as children played with a loaded firearm inside a Mantua home.
Investigators said a male friend of the victim’s mother came to the home on the 3800 block of Wallace Street sometime Saturday morning. He allegedly stashed a loaded gun on the top of the refrigerator in the kitchen.
At some point, the firearm was moved to the master bedroom, where it was left unsecured, according to authorities.
Police said the victim was in the bedroom with her mother and three other children – a 16-year-old, a 2-year-old and a child under the age of 10.
When the mother left the room to use the bathroom, the children found the gun, according to investigators.
Police said as they played with the loaded, cocked firearm, the 2-year-old pointed the weapon at the 11-year-old.
The gun discharged shortly before 10 a.m., striking the 11-year-old girl in the arm. The bullet then entered her chest.
Though the victim was rushed to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she died about a half-hour later.
Police said the Homicide Unit is continuing to investigate the incident.
The names of the victim and others involved in the shooting were not being released Saturday. There was not yet word on whether criminal charges would be filed in connection with the case.