A 4-year-old girl was shot and killed Sunday night in her family's home in Brownwood when an adult family member was cleaning a semi-automatic handgun that discharged, Brownwood Police Chief Mike Corley said Monday morning.
The bullet passed through a wall and struck the girl in the living room, Corley said. The shooting happened around 8:15 p.m. in the 500 block of Parkway.
Corley did not release the girl's name or her relationship to the person cleaning the gun, citing the family's privacy. According to family friends who declined to be identified, the girl's name was Gracie Morin.
The Bulletin received a pending obituary Monday from Blaylock Funeral Home on Grace Fay Marli Morin.
"I don't want to say anything to disrespect the family," Corley said. "My biggest concern right now is their healing. They should be in our thoughts and prayers right now.
"I don't think it's going to be more than a tragic accident but we do have to look into everything. We have two (officers) who went to the autopsy in Fort Worth."
Several people were in the home when the shooting happened, Corley said. The adult cleaning the gun was in a bedroom, and "adults and minors" including the girl who was shot were in the living room when the gun discharged, the chief said.
When asked if police know how the gun fired, Corley said it was speculation on his part but "my guess is (the adult family member) forgot about the (round) in the chamber."
Sunday night, police issued a press release thawing that officers responded to a report of a shooting and arrived to find a child bleeding from a single gunshot wound. Guardian EMS took the child to Brownwood Regional Medical Center, and the child was pronounced dead in the emergency room, police said.
All patrol officers, detectives and dispatchers who were involved in the call will be required to attend counseling, Corley said. Officers performed "emergency first aid" on the girl and "I don't care how tough you are, that's gut-wrenching," Corley said.
Several local pastors have offered to help the family, Corley said.