Des Moines police say the shooting death of a child appears to be an accident.
“Anytime during an investigation, it can switch to be non-accidental. Right now, it does appear to be accidental,” says Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax.
They aren't saying much more than that about what happened just after 7 p.m. Monday
“All we heard was a loud bang,” says Terry Petefish.
He lives right above the apartment where a 4-year-old girl was shot to death. His father ran downstairs to find a traumatic scene.
“It was not a good thing. He went into try and help the guy give the little girl CPR, but at that point, he said she was probably already gone,” says Petefish.
Police say the child was home with her parents and younger siblings at the time of the shooting. Authorities aren't releasing her or her parent’s names. Both were interviewed by police last night and we’re waiting to learn what, if any, charges will be filed in their daughter's death. That’s one of many questions for police.
“Why the gun was where it was, how the shooting happened,” says Sgt. Halifax.
Gun safety advocates say the little girl’s death is preventable.
“That's what makes you mad and sad,” says Brian Zegers who runs Safety and Shooting Academy in Urbandale.
He tells parents who own firearms to educate their children early and often. Something as simple as “This is a gun. It's dangerous, stay away from it."
Zegers says whether it's a lock box or safe, it's the gun owners responsibility to keep it out of the hands of young hands.
“It's heartbreaking. It's just the saddest thing,” says Zegers.